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Conservative election candidates lead Facebook ad usage for campaigns against Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and Clean Air Zones

Politicians running in this week’s local elections across 21 constituencies are pledging to oppose schemes aimed at tackling air pollution. 

The Guardian newspaper has published an analysis of Facebook’s advertising library ahead of local elections in the UK on Thursday 5th May, revealing a number of hopeful politicians who are running campaigns based on policies such as rolling back Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and Clean Air Zones (CAZs). 

From 164 such adverts analysed, 136 were placed by Conservative politicians, putting them at odds with central government’s commitments on climate change and tackling air pollution. Both LTNs and CAZs have been encouraged and in some cases prescribed by Downing Street, with funds largely coming from central rather than local coffers. 

By comparison, just six Labour, three Liberal Democrat, and 19 independent candidates are campaigning against such schemes, which have already divided the electorate in many areas including Greater Manchester, a region Air Quality News focused on in a recent feature article looking at the politicisation and need for initiatives that reduce the number of cars on roads in a bid to lower levels of pollutants in the atmosphere. 

Last month, analysis by the Central Office of Public Interest found that three in four UK homes breached at least one World Health Organisation limit on air pollution. Meanwhile, air monitoring specialist Airly found that 97% of UK schools also exceed safe air pollution levels, with children among the most susceptible to health problems caused by pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, PM2.5, and carbon dioxide. 

Image credit: Element5 Digital  

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