Sunday, December 18, 2005

Is the SMMT in bed with the Nuclear Industry?

Recently Norwich officially unvieled it's own initiative to halt the spread of 4x4s. And to our surprise, our friend Chris McGowan of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders released the following press release on 05 December. You have to wonder, what does the motoring society have to do with the government's Energy Review? Understandably, they feel threatened because a policy to reduce automobile emissions would impact sales of gas-guzzling and poorly designed vehicles. The Alliance Against Urban 4x4s believes that all vehicles should be adequately taxed dependent on their CO2 emissions, not just 4x4s.

Contents : Environmental lobby ignoring the bigger picture on CO2 emissions, says Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

SMMT has reacted with concern over a Friends of the Earth statement, calling for massive increases in tax on 4x4 vehicles, whilst seemingly refusing to participate in the nuclear debate.Friends of the Earth, and fellow lobbyists Greenpeace, have made their anti-nuclear position clear before a full and informed debate on the nuclear option. Yet a statement released by Friends of the Earth has urged Chancellor Gordon Brown to take more action to reduce the threat of climate change.

Nuclear power has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions significantly from the largest source of man-made carbon dioxide - the energy industries. At the moment, this accounts for around 38 per cent of total output, compared to 22 per cent for road transport.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan commented, 'Nuclear power may or may not be the way forward in terms of energy policy. However, to adopt a "no thanks" policy with its echoes from the cold war era, while berating drivers of 4x4 and SUV vehicles, is quite wrong. A full and informed debate on all efforts to cut CO2 across all industries would best serve the environment in the medium and long term.'

According to the BBC, Friends of the Earth and Green Party members are today targeting 4x4 drivers in Norwich, handing out 'parking tickets' in a protest over air quality.

Yet, once again, protestors are ignoring the facts. As well as average CO2 reductions of around 15 per cent in six years, a modern 4x4 diesel emits just seven per cent of the particulate emissions of a 15 year old saloon. Similarly on air quality NOx emissions, standards for the latest Euro 4 petrol 4x4s are six times as tight as those for a Euro 2 saloon, some of which are as little as five years old.

Will Friends of the Earth and Green Party members be ticketing drivers of older, more polluting saloons, estates and small cars?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Sports utility vehicles harm older pedestrians

Today the British Medical Journal has called for health warnings to come with Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) to highlight the increased dangers they pose to pedestrians.

There are also related articles on, the Times Online, and even the Mirror - have a read.

Following the BMJ editorial, the LibDems have also renewed their call for double congestion charge on all SUVs. According to Geoff Pope, 'Sports Utility 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 roadspace so increasing congestion.'

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Mudwash in Kings Road, Chelsea

Today the Alliance offered a free mudwash to any 4x4 driver who was daring enough to take us up on the offer. Responding to the urban 'myth' that 4x4 owners in the city pay people to put mud on their 4x4s to look like they've traveled further afield than the local DIY shop, we offered drivers a menu of 'Mud Services', including 'Surrey Slurry' and 'Gloucestershire Gunk'.



Our first (and only) customer


Squeegee merchants try to sell 'free mud'

Other groups also held mudwashes of their own. Here's a few pics from Manchester
Manchester Mudwash

Manchester Mudwash

Friday, June 17, 2005

Cleveland mechanic lusts for a clean environment

Once in a while a great article shows up. Here's one from the states about a mechanic.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- Consider yourself warned: Don't take your Lincoln Navigator to the Lusty Wrench.
Oh, this two-technician garage in a suburb of Cleveland might work on your SUV, especially if you've failed the state's emissions test. But owner Sam Bell will want to know why you drive a gas-guzzling, emissions-belching SUV.
If Bell doesn't like your answer, his response will sound something like this:
"We generally don't service this type of vehicle because we feel they are environmentally irresponsible," says Bell, 55. "In fact, we'll go so far as to say they're environmentally reprehensible."
He jokes that he has had to "fire" customers who don't agree with his philosophy. Others come to his shop because of his viewpoint, including more than 20 people who drive hybrids. "Most people realize that I do this out of my real concern of the environment and the rest of the people on the road," Bell says. Data fly from Bell's mouth while he argues that SUVs are unsafe for occupants and fellow drivers. He cites high rollover rates and the damage that SUVs do when they collide with cars.
The Lusty Wrench works on only two SUVs on a regular basis. Those customers really need SUVs, Bell says. One is a salamander-chasing biologist who four-wheel-drives his way in and out of marshes. The other has a family of seven and uses the SUV to cart the entire clan.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

We have new summer Tshirts

We have new short sleeve Tshirts available for your summer protests. Now available in khaki and red, we have capped sleeves, skinny, small, medium, large and extra large.
We also have some sizes remaining in the original black long sleeved style.
All Tshirts are cotton, and ethically made by Sandbag. Visit our website to place an order today.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The 4x4 Industry is on the Defensive

Autocar today released a statement on 4x4 cars which illustrates the poor standard of motoring journalism today.Far from busting myths, the report by Autocar wheels out out the same weak arguments the motor industry has been giving us for years. Their statement tries the old trick of naming a couple of examples of 4x4s that 'aren't too bad'and takes no account of recent evidence that the increasing number of big 4x4s on our roads is causing real problems.Alliance spokesperson Sian Berry said, "Autocar shows whose interests it serveswhen it says 'The SUV is an important product for the motor industry'. It is true that the profit margin on a 4x4 is far higher than for a normal car,but speaking for the manufacturers isn't Autocar's job. They should be standing up for consumers, who deserve cleaner, safer and more economical cars, and wantto hear the truth from the motoring press."Unlike Autocar, the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s has no vested interests, apartfrom being concerned about safety and the environment, and there are very goodgrounds for criticising urban 4x4s on both these issues.There have been two recent reports from official Government sources that haveshown clearly the damage the rising popularity of 4x4s is doing.- In March, the Transport Research Laboratory blamed the increasing mismatch between the size and weight of vehicles on the road for a 1% rise in peoplekilled in accidents last year, reversing a long-term decline in road deaths.The report directly attributed the deaths of 20 people a year in small cars tothe fashion for big 4x4s. Last week, the Office for National Statistics announced there hasbeen a 50% rise in carbon dioxide emissions due to transport in the UK since1990. They said this can largely be blamed on increased car use and the trendtowards larger and less efficient cars such sa 4x4s. Also this week, Government advisers the Energy Saving Trust proposed much higher road taxes for polluting cars and a new tax band G for vehicles that emit morethan 210 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre. The Alliance Against Urban 4x4sis also calling for a new band G (for Gas-guzzler) and almost all 4x4s would fall inside this new band. Every model of 4x4 is now in the existing band F,which is for cars that emit more than 185 g/km of carbon dioxide.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Greenpeace shuts down Land Rover assembly line

Early this morning 35 Greenpeace volunteers shut down the assemblyline making gas-guzzling Range Rovers. Urban 4x4s made at this site are wrecking the climate.The 35 volunteers dressed as workers used safety shut-down buttons to cut off power to the assembly line before handcuffing and chaining themselves to unfinished vehicles along the 150m long assembly line and branding it a climate crime scene. It's the first time anywhere in the world that protesters have shut down a factory making Sports Utility Vehicles. Climate change is the greatest threat the planet is facing. Accordingto the World Health Organisation, 150,000 people are already dying every year as a result of the impacts of climate change including droughts, floods and storms. Yet Land Rover continues to make gas-guzzling vehicles, most of which will tackle nothing steeper than a speed bump.
Please send an online fax to Tony Blair asking him to increase road tax for gas-guzzlers and offer incentives for people who choose to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Ticketed in Edinburgh

Ticketed in Edinburgh
Originally uploaded by stopurban4x4s.
We recently did some ticketing while in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Travelling Landrover Protest Hits Basingstoke

The second in the series of protests against Land Rover organised by Berkshire Greenpeace occured today.
Yet another successful event!

Activists from Berkshire, Hampshire and Wiltshire Greenpeace groups converged on Webbers Land Rover on
New Road, Basingstoke. We were also joined by a journalist and two photographers from rival local papers. :o) Who will have the best pictures? Copies will be available soon if anyone wants to see...

Yet again we made an impression on the management, who wasted no time in asking us to leave his property
(before we'd even started) and quickly called the police when he realised we were gathering support from motorists passing by on New Road. Of course, the police didn't do anything, we were on the public highway, not causing any sort of nuisence - except maybe to the climate criminals business, hardly arrestable. What a waste of police time...

We positioned ourselves at a pedestrian crossing, conveniently located by one of the entrances to the showroom on New Road. With banners displayed along the road and activists with many placards we certainly caught the attention of passing motorists and pedestrians! We even had our very own lollypop lady assisting pedestrians across the road, with a lollypop that read "Stop Urban 4x4's". We received a lot of support from many motorists, pedestrians, traffic wardens (!) and some 4x4 drivers.

Time just flew by and before we knew it we had been there over two hours. We finished off with some ticketing and a well deserved Fairtrade coffee (it got a bit chilly out!).

When will the next one be? Which showroom will be next? You'll have to wait and see!

Friday, April 22, 2005

The New Cough it Up Campaign

There's a great new campaign group that has set up this neat website
Their purpose? "It's about a war we're waging. You see, our opponents give out around 4 times the CO2 emissions of ordinary saloon cars and are 9 times as likely to kill a pedestrian...they are the one and only 4x4s!
Basically, we want to stir up opposition to these cars. We want them to be frowned upon as the polluters they are. Well, what can you do? This is where the name starts to make sense...COUGH! Cough! To take part in our campaign, all you have to do is fake cough at passing SUVs and urban 4x4s."
Right On guys!

4x4s in the country

Well, we've heard our campaign is making it's way into the country. Here's a refreshing note from one of our country 4x4s owners who actually says he get's mud on his vehicle.
"Some twerp AAU4x4 rep comes to the country (um thats rural for u noodle heads)and sticks a thing on my windscreen about urban 4x4's. As ive just said this was in the country lol an my oversized gas guzzler, all covered in mud an dust tho it was cleaned 2 days prior, need i say more ? Guys target valid 4x4ers in say um London ? jeez , loopy's !!!"
The Alliance Against Urban 4x4s hit mainstream media attention again last Friday night on BBC2's the Money Programme, with interviews and coverage from our January school run protest.
Are the new hybrid 4x4s really an acceptable answer? We don't think so. We think its a load of greenwash, and we challenge the Industry to start to take climate change and safety issues seriously.
For more information, read on:

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Birmingham FoE take on Toyota's Rav4

Toyota stand accused of bringing the ‘bull’ into the Birmingham 'Bullring' with a fuel- hungry 4-wheel drive vehicle masquerading as being ‘good for the environment’.
The ravenous RAV4 emits 207g/km carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas human emissions of which are thought to cause global warming. These emissions earn the RAV4 a firm “F” rating in the UK’s new A-F labelling scheme and yet the vehicle is currently displayed in Birmingham’s largest shopping centre next to a board proclaiming Toyota’s commitment to protecting the environment.
Rob Pilling of Birmingham FOE said, “Toyota are talking a load of Bull. The RAV is a beast of car and to display it right in front of their environment claim is absurd. It is true that there are worse offenders on the road, but this vehicle emits well above the UK average. It is simply not an environmentally friendly option.”
There are many better cars to choose from. For example, Toyota manufactures the Prius, a hybrid vehicle, which emits 104 g/km carbon dioxide, half that of the RAV4. This earns it a more respectable B rating.
Birmingham FOE say if Toyota is determined to promote cars in the Bullring, they should stick to ones like the Prius. They should also display the new energy labels in a prominent position. This makes it easier for prospective buyers to choose the greenest models.
Even so, Birmingham FOE believe that sustainable transport is about a lot more than technology fixes. Even A-rated cars create problems with congestion, noise, safety, air quality, land take and social exclusion.
Rob continued, “We desperately need to reduce our dependence on private cars. We need to make more journeys on public transport and by walking and cycling.”
In this context, Toyota would have to change their stance dramatically in order to live up to their environmental rhetoric.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

£20 congestion charge for 4x4s

Over 120 volunteers from a multitude of groups helped poll central London yesterday. Almost 5,000 people felt that congestion charges should increase dramatically for large polluting vehicles like 4x4s.

Greenpeace and the Alliance Agaianst Urban 4x4s have raised the congestion charge to £20 for Urban 4x4s

On Feb 26 we polled Londoners, asking the question "Should gas guzzlers like 4x4's pay a higher congestion charge than cars with smaller engines?"
Out of almost 5,500 people polled, 85% said Yes!
We'll be sending on our results on Monday to the TfL Consultation.

Friday, February 25, 2005


We have Tshirts available now - £15 includes delivery! Visit our website for details

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Greenpeace is teaming up with The Alliance Against Urban 4x4s to find out what the London public thinks about 'gas guzzlers'. On Saturday 26 February, the organisations are planning a London-wide poll to see if residents would support a higher congestion charge for 4x4s and other heavily polluting vehicles. We are looking for volunteers to help with the poll, which is planned to coincide with the end of the Transport for London (TfL) consultation on a proposal to increase the congestion charge for all vehicles from £5 to £8. The poll is an excellent way to highlight the connection between cars with heavy fuel consumption and climate change, just as the Kyoto Protocol comes into effect, and to push for fiscal policies that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from road transport. Ben Stewart of Greenpeace said: "Climate change is killing people. We need to tax 4x4s off the roads."
Working in teams of eight, volunteers will canvass people at various locations across London and their findings will be submitted to Transportfor London on Monday morning (28 February). In November last year, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone urged the Governmentto help rid London's roads of sport utility vehicles (SUVs). But a TfL spokesman said that although it had looked into doubling the congestion charge for such vehicles, it was not possible under existing regulations.
If you're interested in helping, contact us at