Transport for London (TfL) “misled” the public about the benefits of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). This is according to a report leaked to the Sunday Telegraph.
An investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) followed hundreds of complaints that the Mayor of London had exaggerated the extent to which the scheme had reduced levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
The draft report says that TfL’s radio and newspaper adverts were “misleading”. One advert claimed that NO2 levels had “reduced by nearly half”, but the ASA says this was based on “estimates or modelled scenarios”, rather than “actual figures”.
Another advert claimed deaths from pollution were higher in outer London, but failed to point out that the area was already covered by ULEZ.
A spokesperson for TfL said: “We have received the draft recommendations from the Advertising Standards Authority and are strongly challenging them.
“The ASA is not challenging the science. The science is absolutely clear about the significant harm of air pollution on people’s health and that estimated premature deaths from air pollution are higher in outer London than in inner London.
“We are confident that the advertisement is accurate. Scientific analysis based on modelled scenarios and estimates is standard practice in the scientific community.
“We are meeting with the ASA to take them through the data and explain in detail how it is used.
“It remains the case that the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone is playing a crucial role in the reduction of air pollution – improving air quality for everyone in London and reducing the harms to health associated with vehicle emissions.”
Non-compliant vehicles used in the ULEZ are liable for a £12.50 daily fee. Figures released by TfL last month show that around 60,000 vehicle owners are paying the charge.
Source: The Independent