TV advert for Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion probed amid claims it is ‘misleading’

Sadiq Khan’s planned expansion of London’s ultra low emission zone (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Sadiq Khan’s planned expansion of London’s ultra low emission zone (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

A TV advert promoting the expansion of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone is being investigated by the advertising watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received 370 complaints claiming it was “misleading”.

Transport for London’s ad promoting expansion states: “London has an urgent air quality problem and it’s impacting the health of Londoners.”

The adverts aim to raise awareness about the forthcoming expansion on August 29 to the Geater London boundary and encourage people to check whether their vehicle is compliant.

It continues London mayor Sadiq Khan’s argument that toxic air in the capital led to the premature deaths of thousands of Londoners, with the hope expansion will reduce the health risks.

The expansion has faced some opposition from motorists and borough councils concerned about motorists with uncompliant vehicles paying £12.50 a day to drive in the ULEZ,

The ASA informed complainants it is requesting evidence from TfL to back up the claims, saying: “Unfortunately, we are unable to give a timescale. It will depend on a number of factors and because we are requesting evidence from TFL, potentially it could take some time.”

TfL said it was providing evidence that “the ULEZ expansion will help clean up poor quality air” and the ASA probe is “standard practice” for brands and companies.

But London Assembly Tory member Nick Rogers said: “I’m not surprised that the ASA is investigating the Mayor of London’s ULEZ advertisements, not only did an overwhelming majority of Londoners oppose Sadiq Khan’s expanded ULEZ in the official consultation, they also understand it will do next to nothing to improve air quality.


“It is disingenuous for TfL to imply that an expanded ULEZ will significantly clean up London’s air.

“Sadiq Khan must listen to London and cease this damaging policy that will hit the poorest in our city the hardest, and pursue policies that are far more likely to clean up London’s air.”

An ASA spokesman said: “We’ve received 370 complaints about this ad. Complainants argue that the ad is misleading.

“We’re currently investigating to determine whether there are grounds for further action.”

The authority declined to say anything beyond its statemen “to avoid impacting the investigation”.

A TfL spokesperson said: “Each year, around 4,000 people die prematurely because of air pollution and the ULEZ will help tackle this health crisis.

“We know that tackling air quality is an emotive issue and that the ASA has been contacted by some members of the public.

“As is standard practice for the ASA, they have asked for additional information and we are now providing them with evidence that clearly demonstrates how the ULEZ expansion will help clean up poor quality air across the capital.”