The Times: making the facts suit itself?

I see The Times appears to have fallen into the trap of inventing its own reasons for statistics, in this case the rise in NOx in central London.

The Times has an understandable political zeal to bad-mouth Labour mayors. One of them introduced the Congestion Charge and Mayor Khan will be (eventually) charging extra for the privilege of driving cars in London; presumably, if you’re a Times reader, driving in London is a must to avoid rubbing shoulders with the hoi polloi.

Seizing upon the news that NOx levels have risen 20% since the Congestion Charge was introduced in 2003, The Times immediately knows the culprits; it’s buses and taxis. No question. Except The Times neglects to acknowledge that the proportion of new diesel cars sold in the UK doubled between 2003 and 2016 – from 25% of all cars sold to more than 50%.

So, since the number of vans, trucks and buses in London (all running only on diesel) have barely increased at all, it’s much more likely that the huge rise in the proportion of diesel cars is the reason. Maybe that wouldn’t suit the hardcore of The Times’ readership, which has a world view to reinforce.

2 thoughts on “The Times: making the facts suit itself?

  1. Ian Robinson says:

    I would also think that the reduction in average traffic speeds have had a significant effect. Initial gains from the introduction of the congestion charge have largely been negated by the introduction of cycle lanes and constriction of roadways for motor vehicles

  2. brave says:


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