Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is set to travel the length of the UK in a bespoke double-decker tour bus, galvanising communities across the country to demand election candidates end sewage pollution. Launching today, SAS’s Election Road Trip will highlight the dire state of our rivers and seas as a key issue for voters at the general election in July.

The Election Road Trip will take the sewage debate to political, sewage and surfing hotspots, with all candidates invited to answer questions from locals at a series of hustings events. The tour kicks off with a demonstration at Windermere alongside local campaigner Matt Staniek, followed by hustings in locations from Edinburgh in Scotland to St Agnes in Cornwall. The bus harks back to SAS’ early 90s roots, where the early supporters of the group used to tour the country, surfboards in tow, to protest, paddle and party. It will host supporting events at each destination, to mobilise the local community, ranging from musical performances and Q&A sessions, to beach cleans and BBQs.

The eight destinations on the route – home to impassioned communities with a track record of campaigning on sewage pollution – are also politically important seats that are likely to be hotly contested on 4 July. These include the key swing seats of Gower and Hastings and Rye, and the ‘red wall’ constituency of Redcar. There is also a stop reserved on the banks of the River Swale, in the constituency of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, where local activists have been fighting to clean up their favorite swimming spot.

Giles Bristow, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, said: “All aboard the Number Two bus – SAS is going on tour! We are hitting the road, wetsuits, and surfboards in tow, to raise a stink about the sewage scandal in major election battlegrounds across the UK. This election is a pivotal moment in the fight to end sewage pollution and we’re determined to grasp it with both hands – and to bring some much-needed fun to the battle-bus bore-fest while we do it. After all, road trips are in surfing’s DNA.”

“From Edinburgh to St Agnes, the SAS party bus will be taking an ever-changing crew of campaigners from town-to-town, helping local communities uncover which of their parliamentary candidates are truly committed to cutting the crap.

“We’ve been on the front line fighting against sewage pollution for more than 30 years and so we know how to sniff out flash-in-the-pan pledges from insincere vote-seeking candidates. Approaching our ninth General Election, our crack team of campaigners will be laser-focused on obtaining real commitments to deliver long-term change for our rivers and seas, from all political parties.

“This is a national issue that is firing up a real sense of fury and outrage in communities – a true thread that links voters up and down the country and across the political spectrum. We’re mobilising our SAS party bus to show election candidates that if tackling sewage pollution isn’t top of their to do list, their campaign needs a major rethink – fast.”

The bus will make its first stop on Monday 17th June for a demonstration at Windermere, which made headlines earlier this year after toxic algal blooms in the lake were linked to sewage pollution. The first hustings will take place in Edinburgh the following day (Tuesday 18th June), and events are scheduled over the subsequent ten days in locations such as Plymouth, Reading and Hastings.

In between hustings events, the bus will take detours to the headquarters of five major water companies – Northumbrian Water, United Utilities, Severn Trent Water, Thames Water and South West Water – with the SAS team delivering letters demanding CEOs clean up their act.The tour will wrap up in SAS’s hometown of St Agnes in Cornwall on Saturday 29th June.

The Election Road Trip will be visiting the following locations:

Windermere – Monday 17th June – Demonstration – Exact timings TBC
Edinburgh – Tuesday 18th June – 7 – 8.30pm
Saltburn (Yorkshire) – Thursday 20th June – 7.30 – 9pm
Richmond (Yorkshire) – Friday 21st June – 7 – 8.30pm
Gower (Wales) – Sunday 23rd June – 4.30 – 6pm
Reading – Monday 24th June – 4.30 – 6pm
Hastings – Tuesday 25th June – 7 – 8.30pm
Plymouth – Thursday 27th June – 6 – 7.30pm
St Agnes – Saturday 29th June – 2 – 4pm

More information about each event here.