second recent spate of Manchester 4x4s deflated

May 13, 2009
Probe into Manchester attacks on 4x4s
POLICE are hunting a radical environmental activist after a series of attacks on gas-guzzling 4x4 vehicles.

Each of the vehicles, also known as Chelsea Tractors, either had their tyres slashed or let down.

And on every vehicle, all damaged in areas of south Manchester, a note was left saying they had been targeted because 'they contribute to climate change'.

Owners of such cars have been branded irresponsible by environmentalists, for their vehicle's size and fuel consumption.

Critics say the large four-wheel drive vehicles were originally intended for use by farmers on rough terrain in the countryside.

But they have become popular with middle-class families living in cities and are used for school runs and shopping trips.

Two separate attacks have now taken place in Manchester in less than a month.

Tyres on 20 cars were slashed or let down overnight in the Ladybarn and Withington areas of the city.

Overnight on Thursday April 23, the tyres on 11 cars were also slashed or let down in Ladybarn, Withington and Didsbury. All the areas are also popular with students.

On both occasions, notes left on all the cars were addressed 'Dear road user', and blamed the vehicles for climate change.

They went on to say such large vehicles were responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, intimidated other road users and pedestrians, and used oil which was the cause of wars.

They ended by saying the 'attack' was not on the owner, but on their choice of car.

Detective Inspector Damian Moran, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "Those responsible might believe they are making a point, but this behaviour is criminal.

"It is mindless vandalism with no regard for the distress and nuisance caused to decent members of our community and will not be tolerated.

"If anyone knows anything or has seen anything suspicious during those two nights that might help us catch those responsible, please contact me."

[- mainstream report from M.E.N.]

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Manchester activists deflate SUV tyres

"A group of concerned Manchester residents deflated the tyres of a number of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV's) last night to protest their contribution to climate change, oil consumption and road traffic accidents. Around 80 vehicles in the Chorlton area were targetted. The tyres were let down and not slashed, this was done without any damage to the tyres.

"Given the threat of climate change and the governments inaction in dealing with it, the group say that direct action such as this is, unfortunately, necessary. Large SUV's contribution to climate change is more than the average car as they emit substantially more greenhouse gases. These large vehicles also have higher consumption and therefore require more oil: a finite resource which many conflicts are required to secure access to.

"This issue is not just about climate change and world conflicts, SUV's are a serious safety hazard. Road traffic statistics have shown that in car collisions involving SUV's, people in the other car are 6 times more likely to die than if they had collided with an average car, and furthermore SUV's are twice as likely to be fatal in collisions with pedestrians.

"James, a member of the group, said, “These vehicles are totally unsuitable for the city, they're dangerous, polluting and an unnecessary status symbol. They should not be on our city roads.”

"Large SUVs are a symbol of excessive consumerism and due to a wide range of issues, driving one in urban areas constitutes anti-social behaviour to which we are all vulnerable."

[- activist press release]