John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Sunday, May 22, 2005
  The 4x4 debate
As someone who both drives a Land Rover Discovery and also is a member of Greenpeace it strikes me that this is some form of confusion going on. Various Greenpeace activists (from outside Birmingham) disrupted the Moat Lane plant last week.

Greenpeace say:
"The Land Rover Discovery only does 12 miles per gallon in the city" that's from the web page linked above.

Land Rover say:
Urban L/100km (mpg) TDV6 Manual 11.5 (24.6) TDV6 Auto 13.2 (21.4) V8 petrol 20.9 (13.5)

Now my own vehicle does far better than 12mpg. Indeed the diesel figures are actually 24.6mpg for the Discovery 3 (that's for Urban motoring)

Greenpeace may be better arguing that people should buy diesel Discoveries as they do 24.6mpg rather than the petrol ones which do 13.5mpg.

I wonder if they have read the wrong column and are quoting the figures of the numbers of Litres required to do 100km.
 
Comments:
No... bugger Greenpeace. What do they know about the off-road terrain in Yardley? How often have they had to traverse the hills and valleys between Birmingham and London via the hinterland of the M1? Stick to your guns John. A 4x4 is a phallic substitute... and let's face it, you need it. You are a powerful man now. If you've got it, flaunt it in the face of those pathetic greenpeace wimps. (Oh, by the way, when you go to the Lib Dem conference, remember to get the 2cv out of the garage... you don't want those old Liberal sandal types getting on your back).
 
On the one hand, I almost want to stand up for John, because I love the Land Rover in all its forms.

On the other... He is John Hemming, so while he's right to point out that his isn't quite as much of a fuel-burning monster others in the range, it isn't exactly green either. I drive a diesel that manages to produce combined fuel consumption figures of over 50 mpg, far better than 12 mpg or even the 24.6 he quotes for the Disco.

I do hope that John will make use of that free first-class rail travel perk he gets as an MP to take a faster and much less damaging method of transport to the capital.
 
I normally go to London via Rail in any event.

I think my own car does about 30mpg. The challenge of course is to reduce the miles as well as increasing the miles per gallon.

FoE Birmingham know quite well that I drive a Discovery.
 
Sir,

The 58, 60 and 57 run through Yardley to Birmingham city centre, stopping opposite Moor Street station about 7-8 minutes brisk walk from the council house for when you are being a councillor or a few minutes from New Street station for when you are being an MP.

Alternatively the 900 will take you to International station when you need a train to London.

The West Midland's Travel shop in the basement of the Pavillions have route maps and time tables that you might find invaluable in reducing the miles you drive.

All joking aside, I do think that more councillors (and MPs) using the buses on a regular basis would be a really good thing. It might promote or provoke action on the multitude of smoking, spitting, shouting and violent youths (some wearing hoodies and/or baseball caps) who pollute our local public transport.
 
I do use the bus from time to time.
 
Greenpeace have now kindly responded and said they will correct their web pages.

They use the figure of 25mpg as the cutoff for "gas guzzlers". Arguably, therefore, a Diesel Discovery is not a gas guzzler.
 
Stephen,

John doesn't actually LIVE in Yardley, you know. He'd find the No 50 more use from Moseley.
 
Politicalhack,

Yes, I was aware that John doesn't live in th ward he represents. I get the impression that it's rare for a councillor to live in the ward they represent.

I suppose he might pop into the LibDem Office near the Yardley/Sheldon border once in a while so the 57/58/60/900 service might still be of some use. If memory serves the 1 runs through Mosley and Acocks Green, I'd have to pick up a route map from the TWM place in the Pavillions to check, that might be useful if Councillor Hemming wished to visit that end of his ward. There's certainly a service that runs from Edgebaston, past the MAC, through Mosley and then Sparkhill to Acocks Green, I've caught it a number of times coming home from the MAC (an interesting venue).

I'm a firm believer in pubic transport. A bus takes about the same road space as 2 cars yet has 70 times the carrying capacity of a typical car in the morning rush hour. If I leave my house between 07:15 and 08:30 then my bus journey to the city centre takes 90 - 120 minutes due to rush hour traffic, I spend most of my time stuck in the traffic. If I wait until 09:00 to leave the house then that same journey takes less than 20 minutes, I don't hit traffic until the Bullring or Moor Street station, the difference is really that marked. Obviously this is the days when there isn't a Red route protest on the Stratford road or some accident either jamming up the road or forcing traffic off one of the other major routes onto the Stratford Road.
 
Stephen,

Perhaps John could have a word with his Tory colleague Len Gregory to stop his campaign against bus lanes to please Ed Doolan and the Sutton set who want to take their cars to work. Oh no, perhaps not, because Len is a bit resentful that John got given his rightful place as Deputy Leader
 
The No 1 does not go through South Yardley although it does go to Acock's Green. The buses from Moseley to town are No 50 and No 35.

Notwithstanding the debate about part of the Bus lane on the No 67 route, where others are now accepting that multi use lanes have more merit, we are implementing a bus wardens scheme to make buses a better environment.

Buses also featured in my maiden speech with a call for reregulation such that the system is the same as in London.
 
Twice in a twenty-four hour period I agree with him. This isn't right.

An integrated transport system only works if one body, like Centro, is given complete authority to establish bus routes. We've actually got a pretty good network in Birmingham, but the London process is better.

Quite how that fits in with the LD push for greater deregulation of industry, I don't know, but he's on the mark here.
 
Incidentally, John. The figures you quote are for a Disco 3, which yours isn't. I'm not certain that the engine is the same (feel free to correct me on that). Also, 24.6 mpg still makes it a gas guzzler, if the FoE cut-off is 25 mpg. Not arguably, but actually.
 
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