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Clean Air Zones

Conservative Party members oppose LTNs and the phase out of petrol/diesel cars

04 August 2023

Conservative Home polled its (Conservative Party) members on their views on Net Zero, in the wake of the Uxbridge by-election.

Famously unrepresentative of the wider population (or even of Conservative voters), this small sample were against Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, strongly opposed to the 2030 phase out of petrol and diesel vehicles, and unpersuaded by the idea of a climate ’emergency’. They were only as unpersuaded as they  were when the same question was asked three years ago, though – suggesting that although opposition to specific nearer-term targets may have hardened among this group, there isn’t necessarily a sense of worsening ‘polarisation‘.

Conservative Home wrote:

A picture of the typical panel member looks roughly like this. He (and it will usually be he) believes that global warming is happening, but isn’t necessarily convinced that human activity is driving it. He supports the Net Zero 2050 target, but not its presence on the statute book, and doesn’t believe that it will be hit. He is strongly opposed to the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars – and to low traffic neighbourhoods…the nearer the target, tax or measure, the bigger the opposition

The latest from the Clean Air Zones timeline:

Climate Barometer Tracker 15th November 2023

Tracker data: Public support for low traffic neighbourhoods is higher than MPs’

The latest Barometer tracker data (October 2023) shows public support for low traffic neighbourhoods is higher than opposition, although the difference is only 10 percentage points, and the pattern is reversed for Conservative voters.

Public support (39%) is higher than that of MPs at only 23%, and support is particularly low among Conservative MPs, likely reflecting the widespread belief that the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was the reason for the unexpected Conservative ‘hold’ at the Uxbridge by-election in July 2023.

As with differences between public and MP opinion seen on onshore wind, and to a lesser extent solar power, it is important that where public support exists (as it does on onshore wind, solar and clean air zones), this support is seen, acknowledged and acted on by political representatives.

View Clean Air Zones timeline now

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