Twaddle from the Anti-Car Cartel:
 
complete idiots totally unnecessary
Ken Livingstone

Four-by-four vehicles in city centres are a danger to pedestrians, a potential hazard to other road users, can cause more damage than any other type of car, and take up more road space.
Lynne Featherstone
Lib-Dem chair of the London Assembly's transport committee

irresponsible and dangerous
David Begg

they damage community spirit by making cities unwelcoming
Sian Berry, AAU4

Too many people are driving a dangerous weapon through our crowded streets because they regard it as a fashion accessory. Our aim is to make driving these things socially unacceptable.
Hayley Rolfe, AAU4
The Times 2006-06-23

The Voice of Sanity:
 
There is a danger of victimization here. First it was White Van Man, now it is off-road drivers. What's next? Sports car owners? Drivers of soft-tops?
Al Clarke, SMMT, BBC 2003-05-23

This is a straightforward anti-countryside policy which would hit livestock farming areas in particular.
Glyn Davies
Conservative Mid and West Wales AM
(Referring to higher road tax for 4x4s)

In a democracy there is no place for politicians or the anti car brigade telling motorists what vehicle they may or may not drive. Perhaps this is more about the politics of envy rather than the politics of democracy.
If anybody ever tries to tell me that Britain has the greatest democratic system in the world, I'll remind them they couldn't be further from the truth. A great democracy wouldn't have room for a powerful, high-ranking politician who publicly and viciously tells millions of motorists that many of them are idiots simply because of the cars they choose to drive.
Mike Rutherford
Auto Express 2004-06-09

...fringe activists who feel they have won the class war against foxhunting are demonising motorists because they need a new target.
It's clear from the tone of the anti-4x4 campaigners that they have a sense of moral outrage quite unrelated to rational analysis.
Timandra Harkness
Spiked
2005-01-24

... the goal of Greenpeace is to put people out of work, and to destroy what`s left of the United Kingdom`s ‘free society.’
John Galt, 2005-05-17

I urge the Sunday Mercury to support West Midlands Land Rover workers rather than join the social engineers and subscribe to their prejudiced view of 4x4's. I refer the the appalling 19th March editorial on '4x4 mums.' What is so wrong with a taller, multi-purpose vehicle that allows a better view of the road ahead and has the benefit of improved traction in all weather conditions? They are not necessarily 'gas guzzlers,' most aren't any longer than many other vehicles, and they haven't caused 4.7 billion years of climate change. In a free and democratic society, if we still have one, we are allowed to choose the vehicle, or Sunday paper, that suits our own needs rather than the myth based arguments of someone else. We've lost MG Rover, let's not lose Land Rover as well.
Paul Biggs
ABD Local Co-ordinator for Birmingham
Sunday Mercury
2006-03-26

This is not about environmental issues — the overall contribution of 4x4s to greenhouse gasses in negligible. This is simply a nasty and vindictive piece of class warfare dressed up as progressive legislation.
Richard Beasley
Letter to the Times
2006-07-13

I drive a 4x4 mainly because the higher ground clearance means it is easier for disabled and elderly passengers to get in and out as the seat is a better height from the ground.
Mrs. J. Bingley
ABD member

That well known hater of all cars, Ken Livingstone, and his cronies in the anti-car cartel which is conspiring to attack Britain's drivers, are trying a new offensive.
 
It's called Divide and Rule.
 
Their odious little plan is to attack the use of all 4x4 vehicles in cities with all manner of ranting emotive unscientific claptrap.
 
Those drivers who don't drive 4x4s, and who haven't yet cottoned on to the plot, naively see attacks on 4x4 drivers as nothing to do with them. Some of these drivers and some of the public fall for the lies and propaganda, and profoundly voice their support for anti-4x4 measures by regurgitating some of the puerile anti-4x4 garbage spouted by the cartel.
 
This is exactly what the anti-car cartel want. Following Ken's widely reported attack on 4x4 drivers in May 2004, the rest of the cartel immediately jumped on the bandwagon and spouted forth similar claptrap in the hope of inciting more public hysteria.
 
Far too many of Britain's drivers continue to be blisfully unaware of the way they are being systematically attacked from all angles.
 
Among the anti-4x4 measures the cartel are plotting are:
Were they to be successful is pushing through such discriminatory policies as higher taxes and road tolls for 4x4s, you can be absolutely 100% certain that the anti-car cartel would next turn their evil eye onto another type of car. Sports cars would probably be the next to be attacked, then they'd invent some rubbish to attack 'people movers' with, then it would be soft tops, then estate cars, then when they finally ran out of ideas it would be every type of car they hadn't already attacked — including yours.
 
Whilst Ken Livingstone would undoubtedly condemn anyone who was to make offensive racist or sexist comments, he himself is guilty of spouting exactly the same kind of vile discriminatory remarks about drivers.
 
If further proof is needed of the divide and rule policy, one bunch of anti-car nutters — 'Wastemonsters' — gives this advice to its self-righteous prats:
"Stick to the big models and look out for signs of genuine off-road use, such as mud or equipment in the back. We want the farmers who need these things on our side, so try not to annoy them by mis-targeting."

 
 
Who's in the anti-4x4 cartel?
 
Sian Berry, seems to have become the figurehead, whether she is self-appointed or not, is unclear.
  - You can email her via info@stopurban4x4s.org.uk
• David Begg
• Friends of the Earth
GLA Liberal Democrats — they think 4x4s should pay twice the congestion charge
• Green Party
• Greenpeace
• Hayley Rolfe, Alliance Against Urban 4x4s
• Jenny Jones, London Assembly Member, Green Party
• Ken Livingstone
• Liberal Democrats
Malcolm Wicks MP, Minister of State for Energy
Norman Baker MP, Lib Dem MP for Lewes
  - used to Environment spokesman until Ming spotted what a liability he was.
 

 
Baker Barks On
Norman Baker, former Lib Dem environment spokesman, and MP for Lewes in Sussex, obviously has a bee in his bonnet about 4x4s. Maybe one 4x4 driver annoyed him at some time and he's decided to take it out on all 4x4 drivers. Whatever the reason he just can't stop ranting. It began in May 2003 when he pronounced that 4x4s should be banned from doing the school run and going to the supermarket. When one caller to Radio 2 asked him if people should therefore buy another car for these purposes, in addition to their 4x4, he was stumped for an answer. At the 2001 election, Baker had 56% of the vote, an increase of 13% from the previous election, gaining votes from both the Tories and Labour. With an effectively majority of only 6% of a 69% turnout, he ought to be careful about attacking the 70% of voters who have a car.
In the 2005 election, his share of the vote dropped to 52.4%, a swing of 1.6% from the Lib Dems to the Conservatives.
In the 2010 election, he got 52% of the vote, from a 69.4% turnout, again a swing of 1.6% from the Lib Dems to the Conservatives.
If you live in Lewes, do have a word with him about his misguided actions.
 
 
DEFRA tries to destroy 4x4 motorsport
The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is threatening to withhold subsidy payments from any landowner who dares to allow motorsport on their land. Already 40% of off-road events are likely to be cancelled. Motorcycle events are also being affected.
Sign the petition against the government's bullying.
 
 
Sense Thrown Out of the Window
All too often, the media insist on ranting on about 4x4s when talking about emissions. They totally fail to report that emissions have absolutely nothing to do with the number of driven wheels. There are small 4x4s with low emissions just as there are large saloon cars with high emissions. Still, why let the facts get in the way of a good story?
 
 
Government Keep Some Perspective
At least the government has managed to keep some perspective on this issue. Despite the rantings of the anti-car lobby, and the desire of some so-called journalists to whip up more irrational hysteria, 10 Downing Street responded to a petition on the PM's website by emphasizing that the government does not discriminate against 4x4s on the basis of body styles or driven wheels, but rather targets emissions irrespective of the type of car.
Government Response to 4x4 Owners Petition
 
 
Be under no illusion, whenever one of these conspirators comes out with some anti-4x4 nonsense, they are not merely attacking 4x4 drivers, their intention is quite simply to bully all drivers into submitting to their anti-car ideology by the carefully calculated policy of
Divide and Rule

 
FACTSHEET
Anti-4x4 ranters are typically heavy on emotive claptrap and short on facts (mainly because they haven't got any facts), so here are some facts:
 
CONGESTION - 4x4s are insignificant contributors to congestion and those that do sit in jams actually improve matters!
  • Unlike their US counterparts, European 4x4s have a smaller 'footprint' on the road than similarly priced saloons. A Range Rover is 20cm shorter than a Mercedes S class, and a Toyota RAV4 is a massive 47cm shorter than a Ford Mondeo!
  • 4x4 vehicles account for only 3% of the cars on the road — that means that in London there are three times as many buses and fifteen times as many taxis entering the central area every day than 4x4s (figures from TfL)
FUEL CONSUMPTION & USAGE — 4x4s in the UK are very different from those in the US. There is already a big incentive to buy fuel efficient vehicles (called fuel duty) and most people opt for the most economical 4x4s.
  • Fuel consumption figures for 4x4s vary greatly, but the vast majority sold in the UK are diesel engined and do between 25 and 42mpg — they are comparable to family saloons not '12mpg gas guzzlers'
  • Luxury 4x4 vehicles sold in the UK average 27.4mpg according to Spyder Automotive, comparing well with the 28.4mpg achieved by luxury saloons and 27mpg for premium sports cars.
  • The Honda CRV 2.2d manages 42 mpg combined, the seven seat Discovery TDV6 does 30mpg. The new Lexus RX400h hybrid delivers 32mpg despite having a powerful petrol engine and automatic transmission.
  • 4x4s that do consume more fuel than average also have drivers that already pay more fuel duty, because over 70% of the price of fuel is tax. This is the biggest incentive to restrict sales of these vehicles, and its working. The Land Rover Discovery is the best selling heavy duty 4x4 and 99% of buyers opt for the 30mpg diesel rather than the petrol engined models featured in the publicity material of the anti 4x4 groups
  • A fairer comparison on fuel consumption would take into account usage annual mileage — many 4x4s are used for towing and carrying whilst longer trips are made by the second family car.
  • A 4x4 can provide transport for up to 9 people at a time (Defender 110 Station Wagon)
  • Older petrol engined 4x4s invariably either do a very low annual mileage or are converted to environmentally friendly LPG. These are usually bought due to real customer need — off road use or heavy duty towing.
TAXATION — special taxes on 4x4s would be unfair on those who really need them — and, anyway, what is a 4x4?
  • The Environment Transport Agency says that drivers have been hit too hard by the carbon debate
  • Other forms of taxation on 4x4s (higher VED or congestion charge) would be less fair than fuel duty and they would penalise:
    - essential users like farmers along with urban dwellers
    - those who do a low mileage and so dont burn much fuel
    - those who choose a more economical 4x4
  • Transport for London recently admitted that they could not define a 4x4 robustly. There are many 4x4 cars on the road, like the Jaguar X TYPE and the Audi Quattro models. Equally, some 4x4 models like the Nissan X-Trail are available with front wheel drive only.
SAFETY — 4x4s are inherently safer vehicles than normal cars and so cost less to insure — increasingly they are packed with technology that makes them even safer
  • All types of car will have to meet the same stringent pedestrian impact tests (new models from 2006, all cars from 2011). The Honda CR-V (the second best selling 4x4 in the UK) already achieves the top rated NCAP 3 star rating for pedestrian safety
  • DfT and Government Office statistics show that buses are bigger killers of pedestrians (per km driven) than all cars, and that Light Commercials typified by the Ford Transit, which have similar dimensions and driving positions to 4x4s, are actually the safest group of vehicles on the road in terms of pedestrian deaths and injuries.
  • Arguments about weight in car to car impacts could equally apply to all cars — a new VW Golf GTI weighs twice as much as the 1970's original, largely due to better crash performance and increased safety features.
  • 4 wheel drive makes cars safer in poor road conditions, and the higher driving position of SUVs gives a better view of the road ahead, which is the most crucial accident avoidance measure of all
  • Most of the more expensive 4x4s are now fitted with parking sensors that aid manoeuvring in tight spaces, reducing the risk of hitting low objects ­ like children — close to the vehicle
  • 4x4s typically have lower insurance groupings than similarly priced saloons indicating a better safety record.

 
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