Boris likes us to think he’s tackling air quality. He isn’t, for a million reasons (gluing pollution to the roads, pretending it’s all from Europe, scrapping the WEZ, pushing back the LEZ Phase 3 to please ‘White Van Man’ in the Sun…). Tackling air pollution would mean detail and decisions, neither of which are in Boris’s game plan.
There’s now, conveniently before the election, a set of documents that Simon Birkett of Clean Air London has been chasing for three years that show how Boris and the Labour Government traded over the subject. Go and read them, I’m knackered. They’ve even made the Guardian, look.
According to the papers, Lord Hunt wrote to Johnson urging him to “keep the congestion charge and other initiatives”. But the mayor responded by saying that the rise in traffic levels that would have resulted from cancellation of the congestion zone “was unlikely to materially affect air quality”.
My dad knows Lord Hunt, oddly enough, in a professional capacity.
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