I've just filled in the survey that forms part of the Mayor's consultation on air pollution. Since air pollution kills nearly 10,000 Londoners each year (70 times as many as die in road traffic accidents!) this is a big issue. And I'm pleased to see Green Assembly Member Caroline Russell working on the issue.
But the questions!
Take question 2: Q2. To what extent do you think each of following is responsible for air pollution in London? - diesel cars, petrol cars, taxis, etc.
The contribution of, eg diesel cars,
to air pollution is a matter for scientific study - not public opinion. And its something that the Mayor should tell us before asking our opinion on policy options since he and his advisers have access to
scientific advice and time to read it. We don't. Without that the results will reflect some mixture of self-interest, time spent with good quality news sources and random prejudice.
Or take question 15: Do you think that residents should receive a 90% discount from the Emissions Surcharge?
To answer that I need to know what proportion
of travel is due to residents's vehicles. That sounds simple but if a discount was introduced you can be sure that some smart residents would find ways to hire their vehicles to non-residents so that proportion would appear to increase.
And for every proposed policy we need to know simply this - How many lives will it save?
This is a poor quality consultation and a missed opportunity. Please, Mr Khan, do better next time!