An excerpt from the London Evening Standard by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown :-
“Beautiful, countrified Richmond is home to many Londoners with huge, showy cars, slowly killing the place they love. I imagine these residents will not be happy this week: the Lib-Dem controlled council is going after them again. First came the hike in residential parking fees for gas guzzlers (owners pay three times as much as those who have small, green cars); now these poor rich folk will have to cough up higher meter charges – only 60p an hour more, but they will still splutter.
Protesting on their behalf, the AA claims these people have larger families and “need bigger cars for everyday life” – and that in the recession they can’t sell the offending vehicles. LBC’s Nick Ferrari, fan of the hefty automobile, brings up the same excuses: we have many entertaining spats over the subject on his show. It helps that I drive a small car, a Nissan Micra, so he can’t get me on hypocrisy. Listeners, though, mostly support him and believe driving fuel-bingeing vehicles is a family’s right. But what did big families do until the 4×4 blight arrived on the streets of London? They squeezed into estate cars, or walked, or hopped on to that biggest car of all, the bus.
Other defenders of the urban big beasts fly the flag of liberty, just as smokers did when opposing their ban. True-born Britons must be free to live as they wish and will fight to the death any meddling by the state, they cry. But while there is something poetic about the intensity of feelings aroused here, I doubt there will be road martyrs in Richmond brave enough to go to prison for such “rights”.
Then there is the accusation that we who oppose these oversized cars are really expressing ancient class enmity. Perhaps we are. That does not change the facts that gas guzzlers are polluters, anti-social, a road menace and a danger to pedestrians. Go to a car park and these vehicles shamelessly take up two spaces. Before Christmas I kicked one in a fit of rage. In Ealing, little Japanese women trying to manoeuvre the monstrosities drive us nuts”
Richmond is a lovely place (I wanted to move there once, as used to work there) but the cars make it a danger, like this Nissan Micra below:-
“Motorist injures cyclist. The incident was at the junction of Maple Drive and North Leas Avenue, Scarborough, at about 6.15pm and involved a white Nissan Micra and a man on a blue bicycle.
The cyclist, Kevin Hudson, 50, of Newby Farm Close, Scarbor-ough, was taken to Scarborough Hospital with what were de-scribed by police as “serious injuries”.