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Khan accused of trying to “silence” contradictory ULEZ study

Sadiq Khan’s office has been accused of trying to “silence” a scientific report that questions how beneficial the controversial ULEZ charge is for the environment.

It is reported that more than £800k has been paid to the Imperial College’s Environmental Research Group since 2021, with director of the group, professor Frank Kelly, subsequently agreeing to issue a statement stating the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has helped to “dramatically reduce air pollution.”

However, a study from the Imperial College’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, published in 2021 found that the original ULEZ established in 2019 had only cut nitrogen dioxide by less than 3%.

Khan’s deputy for environment and energy, Shirley Rodrigues, told Professor Kelly she was “really disappointed” that the Imperial College had published findings questioning the effectiveness of ULEZ, in an email exchange.

The £800k fee by the mayor’s office to the college included a payment of almost £50k for a report on the “future health benefits of mayoral air quality policies”, which has not been peer reviewed.

The report has been cited by Khan throughout ULEZ press packets. These latest accusations of attempting to squash the ineffectiveness of the Zone come less than two weeks before the expansion of the ULEZ is due to be implemented.

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