Candidates in 21 council areas run advertisements opposing LTNs and clear air zones | Native elections

Candidates in 21 council areas in Thursday’s native elections have pledged to roll again low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) or clear air zones, a Guardian evaluation of Facebook advert library information has discovered.

Most of the adverts – 136 out of 164 analysed – had been positioned by Tory candidates, placing native Conservative events at odds with central authorities which has inspired councils to undertake clear air zones and LTNs, and funded the schemes.

Labour candidates have positioned six adverts criticising a clear air zone or LTN, whereas Liberal Democrats have positioned three and impartial candidates have positioned 19.

Clean air zones limit the motion of older, extra polluting automobiles to enhance air high quality, whereas low-traffic neighbourhoods are areas during which motor site visitors is prevented from utilizing residential streets as cut-throughs.

If clear air zones had been carried out throughout eight UK cities, they’d ship, on common, an 18% discount in nitrogen dioxide, a dangerous pollutant, in line with analysis by CBI Economics.

However, these schemes have usually divided opinion, and advertisements that oppose a clear air zone (CAZ) or LTN have been considered 613,000 instances on Facebook because the begin of this yr.

Party breakdown

Adverts opposing clear air zones had been notably prevalent in Greater Manchester, with 51 positioned by native candidates within the interval analysed.

Trafford Conservatives ran 14 advertisements criticising clear air zones. One advert that ran in April said: “Labour have done nothing for you other than spend millions on trying to tax you to drive with Greens and Lib Dems.”

The begin date for a Manchester CAZ, which might be the UK’s largest, has been delayed after disagreements between the Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham, and the federal government over funding.

Area breakdown

Misinformation concerning the Manchester CAZ has been broadly shared on Facebook, in line with separate evaluation utilizing the analytics device Crowdtangle.

The hottest natural submit mentioning the scheme claimed that authorities had lower down bushes by a motorway junction close to Wigan in an effort to set up CAZ signage. The submit later obtained 43,000 interactions on Facebook when it was reposted by a meme web page.

A spokesperson for Highways England, which manages the land across the Orrell Interchange, stated no bushes had been eliminated to put in the signal.

Trafford Conservatives stated in an announcement: “On Thursday, voters in Trafford have a choice. They can vote for a Labour council’s 493 square mile charging zone, supported by the Liberal Democrats and Greens, who all want to make it more expensive and more difficult to get to work, to see your family or to get around your day.

“Alternatively, they can vote for a fresh start with the Conservatives, who will prioritise making life easier for hard working families and small businesses.”

In London, which has the best protection of low-traffic neighbourhoods within the UK, Conservative candidates positioned 65 advertisements pledging to take away them. The highest quantity had been run by native events within the outer suburban boroughs of Croydon and Enfield.

Enfield Conservatives stated the Labour administration had not listened to folks about two new LTNs and created “more pollution, more congestion”.

Official monitoring information from Enfield council reveals site visitors volumes inside its Fox Lane LTN fell by 72% on common after its introduction, whereas boundary roads noticed a mean improve of 6%.

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Stephen Edwards, the chief government of Living Streets, stated: “Nobody wants to vote for dangerous roads, air pollution and rat running. The government’s own evidence shows that there is overwhelming support for traffic reduction and space being reallocated to people walking, wheeling and cycling.”

“Of course, if low-traffic schemes aren’t working, authorities should be working with residents to find other ways to reduce car dominance and prioritise people.”

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