Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 22 July 2023

The War on Motorists


Ross Clark has written the cover story for this week’s Spectator about the ongoing war on motorists. Here’s an extract:

The phrase ‘war on motorists’ has often been overused, not least by drivers who feel aggrieved after being caught speeding. But hostilities have reached a level at which it is hard for ordinary drivers not to wonder whether there is a systematic campaign to ease them out of their vehicles – or else to milk them for revenue.

It is not just London and Ulez: low emission zones, low traffic neighbourhoods and parking, bus lane and box junction fines are proliferating across the country. Birmingham has had a low emission zone since 2021, Bristol since November. Glasgow began enforcing its zone last month. Cambridge is planning a £5 a day congestion fee, while Oxford and Canterbury will soon limit motorists from driving between one area of their city and another.

Ostensibly, Ulez, like all these schemes, is about air quality. Khan’s office claims, as justification for the extension, that central London has seen since 2019 a reduction of 46% in nitrogen oxides and a 41% reduction in PM 2.5 pollution (particulates which are less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter). You don’t have to sniff too hard, however, to smell a rat. The mayor’s study arrived at these figures by comparing actual roadside measurements with what it guesses pollution levels would have been had there been no Ulez for cars. Yet the graph showing the predicted path of emissions in 2020 and 2021 without Ulez looks remarkably flat – in spite of a collapse in traffic due to the pandemic. According to the mayor’s modelling, emissions would have fallen by 10% in 2020, the year of two lockdowns.

Department for Transport data shows that traffic in central London decreased by much more than this in 2020 – by 22% in Westminster, for example, and 19% in Camden. Pollution might also have been expected to fall thanks to a suspension of construction work.

A more independent source is an Imperial College study which looked at pollution in central London for 12 weeks before and 12 weeks after the original Ulez was introduced in 2019. It found that overall nitrogen oxide levels fell by just 3% and there was no significant reduction in PM 2.5 pollution. In some sites, pollution actually worsened. One of the authors concluded: “Our research suggests that a Ulez on its own is not an effective strategy to improve air quality.”

In fact, air pollution has been on a long downward trend for more than 50 years, beginning long before Ulez. Nationwide, emissions of nitrogen oxides have fallen by 77% and PM 2.5s by 85% since 1970 – a result of less coal-burning, cleaner vehicles and many other factors. Cars have become steadily cleaner over that period, though not to the extent that would justify charging a new car nothing.

Read More: The War on Motorists

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