With the election campaigns for Mayor of London now getting started, Mayor Sadiq Khan is trumpeting his achievement in “dramatically cleaning up London’s air”. This is claimed in a press release that the Mayor’s office has issued – see below:
He claims that there has been an almost 100% reduction in the illegal peaks in air pollutions since he became Mayor in 2016. But he actually only quotes figures for NO2 pollution when particulates are probably a lot more significant for health. Indeed it is questionable whether NO2 is a danger at all. He also says that “toxic air is a national health crisis” which is simply untrue – see https://www.abd.org.uk/air-quality-vehicles-truth/
But he highlights the improvements in air quality in Putney High Street, Brixton Road and Oxford Street which have no doubt been helped by the use of electric and other low emission buses on those routes. However most of London’s bus fleet is still diesel-powered.
Neither does the Mayor attempt to separate out the impact of national Government policies on vehicle standards from his own policies. Indeed reading his press release you would think that it was all down to the ULEZ and LEZ bus schemes he introduced when the impact of those schemes is not yet at all clear.
The press release also lauds his planting of 280,000 trees when he actually promised to plant 2,000,000 in his first term (i.e. by now).
The Mayor is certainly good at blowing his own trumpet but less well good at actually publishing the facts about air pollution and its health impacts.
The Mayor’s Press Release is here: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/data-shows-mayors-action-cleaning-up-londons-air
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