Double Trouble for 4×4 Drivers

12th March 2005
news
release

News Release

Embargo: 11am, Saturday 12th March 2005

Photo Opportunity

Campaigners will meet on the steps of The Friends Meeting House on Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS at 11am on Saturday 12th March, before setting out to issue 4x4s with mock parking tickets and survey the public on whether 4x4s should be subject to higher parking charges.

High resolution photos available.

Campaigners from the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s [1] will take to the streets of Manchester on Saturday 12th March to record public support for their call to double parking fees for large four-wheel drive off-road vehicles (4x4s) being driven in urban areas.

In Australia, North Sydney Council recently voted in a plan to double parking fees for gas-guzzling four-wheel drives. [2] The Alliance is calling on Manchester City Council to follow their example, and is collecting signatures to show the level of public support for such a move.

A large off-road vehicle such as a Land Rover Discovery burns double the fuel of a conventional car like a Ford Mondeo. This produces double the amount of the greenhouse gases that contribute towards climate change, and double the amount of ground-level pollution that leads to asthma and other respiratory problems, particularly in children and the elderly. 4x4s also pose double the danger to pedestrians – hit by a 4×4, pedestrians are twice as likely to be killed compared with being in collision with a conventional car. [3]

Alliance spokesperson Dave Coleman commented:

“We are confident that the vast majority of the public shares our concerns about these dirty and dangerous vehicles and want to see something done about them. In fact, in a recent Manchester Evening News poll, 85% of phone and text respondents voted that 4x4s are unsuitable for the urban environment, and we agree with them.

“We are now calling on the City Council to take action to ensure that 4×4 drivers pay a fair price for the damage they are causing to the health of our residents and the environment in which we all live.

“Our message is simple: large off-road vehicles in our cities are responsible for Double the pollution and Double the danger, so they should be subject to Double the parking charges.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

[1] The Alliance Against Urban 4x4s (www.stopurban4x4s.org.uk) is a grassroots campaign with the aim of uniting environment, consumer, road safety groups and concerned individuals in an alliance against the growth of urban Four Wheel Drive vehicles on our streets. Email the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s at info@stopurban4x4s.org.uk for 4×4 tickets, and information on where to source T-shirts and campaign briefings.

[2] Sydney Morning Herald, 15 February, 2005: “North Sydney Council to double 4WD parking fees”, www.smh.com.au/news/National/ North-Sydney-Council-to-double-4WD-parking-fees/2005/02/15/1108229968731.html

[3] New Scientist, 13th December 2003, “Pedestrians at risk from sports utility vehicles”, www.newscientist.com