British political party the Liberal Democrats reportedly has pledged to stop motorists using ‘4×4’ vehicles (SUVs) in cities by taxing them off the road.


According to the Daily Telegraph, the party condemned “Chelsea tractors” as environmentally unfriendly and dangerous and promised new taxes to persuade drivers to choose smaller cars.


The Lib Dems, who are holding their annual conference in Bournemouth, reportedly want to overhaul road tax so that drivers who use less fuel efficient cars face pay more.


However, Matthew Taylor, the party’s parliamentary chairman, said it would be wrong to tell people they could not drive the car of their choice. The party would instead introduce incentives to persuade people to choose more fuel efficient cars.


“If you drive a huge American people carrier or four-wheel drive you are going to pay more than if you drive a small fuel efficient family car,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “I think Chelsea tractors can expect to pay more. They are not environmental. They use more fuel.


“They are also extremely dangerous to pedestrians,” Taylor added, according to the report. “Children are at their most vulnerable around the school gate.


“If you are hit by an ordinary family saloon, they are effectively designed so you will ride off over the bonnet and you will be to some extent protected.


“But if you are hit by a 4×4 you are normally caught under the vehicle.”


The Telegraph noted that, earlier this year, London mayor Ken Livingstone said he could double the London congestion charge for 4×4 cars.