If you drive through Yarm in the morning, you will see a procession of 4x4 beasts dropping off their children at school. I was behind a monster truck the other day, as he pulled out of the traffic jam we were in to drop his daughter off on the other side of the road before trying to push back into the queue again. I was reminded of this as I read an article in the Sunday Times
about the 4x4 craze. The article was trying to defend the 4x4 owner by saying that:
- non-4x4 owners are jealous of their wealth
- They aren't that polluting at all. Not as much as Ferraris
- They only represent a small minority of the car population
- They have four-wheel-drive, which is really useful when driving over unpaved surfaces
The piece in the Times was a bit misguided to think that there are not many of these things about. The article's own figures show that more 4x4s (176,000) were sold than Ford Focus's (137,694) last year. And no-one believes that the reason these cars sell is because they have 4-wheel-drive; none of these cars will ever go off-road. It's because they are big and because everyone else has got one. The lack of individuality of the school-run set is to blame here.
I have heard vox-pops on the radio where a 4x4 owner justified their choice of car by saying that the model they have chosen has a clean-air filter, to ensure that their children get to breath clean air. "If I let my child walk to school", they said, "they would be breathing in other people's car fumes". Well quite.
The Porsche Cayenne Turbo weighs 2.5 Tonnes and does 13 miles per gallon while transporting one small child to the other side of the road. That's not really good enough is it?
Labels: cars, local