Says opponents are 'shamefully' questioning the science on clean air
Sadiq Khan, pictured at the summit on Wednesday
March 20, 2023
Sadiq Khan told a global summit last Wednesday (15 March) that the “silent majority” of Londoners support his plan to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
Billionaire philanthropist and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg meanwhile signalled his own support for the proposal, telling an audience of international officials that his foundation supported Mr Khan’s “innovative work” on air pollution.
Mr Khan and Mr Bloomberg were speaking at the inaugural Partnership for Healthy Cities Summit, hosted on Wednesday at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
The event celebrated the recent achievements of five global cities in preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries – and was focused on making cities healthier places to live.
A small group of protesters outside held placards in opposition to the ULEZ expansion. A number of them cited conspiracy theories about 15-minute cities and the World Economic Forum.
Inside the event, Mr Khan told the audience: “The ULEZ requires vehicles driving on our streets to meet the toughest emissions standards enforced by any major city in the world.
“Its impact has been nothing short of transformative. Four million people now breathe cleaner air and toxic nitrogen dioxide levels have been cut by nearly half in central London. We’re now expanding ULEZ city-wide, bringing cleaner air to every Londoner.
“But none of this has been easy. Shamefully, there’s been a coordinated effort by some to question the science, rationale and benefits of clean air.
“For those of you that have been outside, in fact, some of those protesters turned up outside this summit. A couple of the signs read ‘WEF – World Economic Forum stooges’. Another one reads ‘This push for healthy cities is a cover for global tyranny’.
“But no matter what they throw at us, it’s a fight worth having, and a fight we must win.”
He later said, “Within two years of implementing the ULEZ, we reduced the toxic air by almost 50 per cent. There is no other policy in the world that’s had that massive reduction just in two years.
“[There was] a lot of opposition, [but] we did it. Good results. We then expanded it a bit further out [to cover the area within the North and South Circular roads] – we got a further 21 per cent reduction in bad air.
“I stood for re-election. I received more votes than any sitting mayor in [the] history of [UK] elections, so the silent majority are with me in relation to the ULEZ.”
Protesters outside the summit, led by Piers Corbyn
Mr Bloomberg, who in 2020 ran to be the Democratic candidate against Donald Trump, said of Mr Khan, “He’s been relentless in tackling air pollution, and our foundation has been glad to support his innovative work and help more cities replicate it.”
Of Mr Khan’s approach to policy-making, Mr Bloomberg said, “Sadiq has shown a lot of leadership, and the determination to do what’s right to protect public health, even when it’s difficult and even when it’s not popular.
“The truth is, nothing important is easy and there’s no more important a job for a mayor than protecting public health and safety…
“In New York, many of the policies that generated the most opposition often turned out to be the most effective and the most popular.”
Mr Khan was asked after the event about the fact that the expansion of the ULEZ to cover all of Greater London was not included in his 2021 election manifesto. The Mayor insisted that the public were still on his side.
He said, “At every stage of this process, there’s been some people who have got concerns, legitimate concerns, which we’ve sought to address. So the scrappage scheme we’ve announced for this expansion is £110 million. We should be supporting those who’ve got genuine concerns.
“There are others latching on to the legitimate concerns people have – conspiracy theorists, Covid deniers. We even saw at Ealing, two weeks ago, people coming with banners with Nazi swastikas on them. So they’re latching onto this opposition…
“Londoners are in favour of this expansion. The only impartial poll there’s been, from YouGov, showed that almost double the number of Londoners support expansion as those who are against it.”
City Hall Conservatives, who oppose Mr Khan’s plan, have pointed to the results of TfL’s own consultation on the proposal – saying that the leaked official results showed two thirds of respondents were against it.
Noah Vickers - Local Democracy Reporter
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact email@example.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the ch
March 20, 2023
. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
Anger Over Mayor’s ULEZ Protest 'Far Right' Comments
No Plan B if ULEZ Expansion Blocked in Courts
Angry Scenes over ULEZ at City Hall Event
Elderly Residents 'Missing Funerals Due to ULEZ'
Union Warns Airport Staff Set to Quit if ULEZ Extended
Mayor Says ULEZ Consultation 'Not a Referendum'
Assembly Member's Second Hand Car Advice Unwelcome
ULEZ Equipment Costs To Top £100 million
Sign up for email newsletters from ActonW3.com, BrentfordTW8.com, ChiswickW4.com, EalingToday.co.uk, FulhamSW6.com , PutneySW15.com, ShepherdsBushW12.com, WandsworthSW18.com and WimbledonSW19.com