Environment

Climate activists have deflated hundreds of SUV tyres in affluent areas across the UK

A group calling themselves The Tyre Extinguishers targeted "well-to-do" neighbourhoods and say their aim is to make it "impossible" to own a 4x4 in urban areas.

The leaflets left on cars by The Tyre Extinguishers.

A climate activism group calling themselves The Tyre Extinguishers deflated hundreds of SUV tyres across the UK on Monday night in a protest against the polluting “killer vehicles”. 

The stunt, which the group said was the “first in a new wave of protest”, was taken to discourage the use of 4×4 cars in urban areas with the ultimate aim of making it “impossible” to own one. 

Marion Walker, group member, said “politely asking” for climate action had failed, prompting The Tyre Extinguishers to take action.

Tyres were deflated in several locations across London, including Hampstead, Notting Hill and Chelsea, while SUVs were also hit in Brighton, Sheffield, Liverpool, Bristol, Cambridge and Edinburgh. 

The group says on its website that they are targeting “post / middle-class areas” and has posted a guide on its website with instructions on how to spot and deflate SUV tyres. 

Alongside these instructions, the group has produced a leaflet for placing on the cars after the tyres have been deflated, explaining why the action has been taken.

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“We have deflated one or more of your tyres. You’ll be angry, but don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s your car. We did this because driving around urban areas in your massive vehicle has huge consequences for others,” the first part of the leaflet reads. 

The leaflet suggests that the car owner uses “walking, cycling or public transport” to get around as an alternative. 

According to the group, SUVs have been targeted in particular due to their creation of “luxury emissions” by the wealthy, calling the cars a “climate disaster” causing air pollution and making roads more dangerous. 

The Tyre Extinguishers wish to see a ban on SUVs in urban areas, pollution levies to “tax SUVs out of existence”, and massive investment in free, comprehensive public transport.

The group has said its actions will continue until politicians “make this a reality”.

Other UK citizens are being urged to “join in” on the Tyre Extinguisher’s actions, with the group’s website saying that “deflating tyres repeatedly and encouraging others to do the same will turn the minor inconvenience of a flat tyre into a giant obstacle for driving massive killer vehicles around our streets.”

Group member Walker added: “Governments and politicians have failed to protect us from these massive unnecessary vehicles. SUVs are a climate disaster, they cause air pollution and are dangerous for other road users. Everyone hates them, apart from the people who drive them.

“Politely asking for climate action, clean air and safer streets has failed. It’s time for action.”

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