Birmingham Style icon 2006: insane 4x4s

Birmingham’s Victoria Square hosted two huge gas-guzzling Land Rover vehicles recently, which have been chosen as Birmingham’s style icon 2006 for the Style Birmingham fashion show held at the Council House (1).

Birmingham Friends of the Earth members turned up to spoil the party, late afternoon on Friday, the first night of the event. Members gave out “Dirty and Dangerous” 4×4 parking tickets and campaigner, Chris Williams, dressed as a lollipop man with a school-crossing lollipop reading “Stop Urban 4x4s”. The event organisers acted heavy-handedly, trying to convince the protestors that Victoria Square was booked out by a private firm for the evening. Friends of the Earth believes in working within the law at all times.

Chris Williams of Birmingham Friends of the Earth says “surely it is high time that Birmingham shakes off its image as being the city where car is King. The City Council tries to claim the lead on sustainability these days. Surely promoting highly polluting “Chelsea tractors” to be the image for our city is giving out entirely the wrong message? It is only when Solihull’s Land Rover starts producing fuel-efficient cars that we should start trumpeting them. Vehicles that are not so disproportionately contributing to climate change would be a victory for the environment and the economy and therefore the people of Birmingham.”

Large 4x4s pollute far more than equivalent saloon cars and estates, emitting higher quantities of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, human emissions of which are behind global climate change. Around two-thirds of 4x4s sold in the UK are diesel models which emit more of the pollution that reduces urban air quality."

As Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear has said "I do have to say that the drivers of these things in cities must be clinically insane (2)."

Chris Williams continues “Is Birmingham now trying to live up to this image that even Jeremy Clarkson says is insanity? What an embarrassing mistake for our city.”


Notes to editors

  1. Welcome to the exciting world of 2009


  3. Pictures of the action are attached (James Botham and Chris Williams (with cap) pictured).

  4. Call Chris Williams for interviews on 07811 428 682.