Today, being at home I felt it my opportunity to do my bit for the environment. The recent air pollution drama on mainland UK, having practically taken over BBC/ITV news coverage has clearly exercised lots of folk into consideration of the wider issue of our air quality and the impending disastrous side effects of the continued use of diesel fuels. London pea-soupers are headline news again! Shortened lifespans are predicted to be a long term effect (worse than increased use of hard drugs, alcohol, tobacco??) Apparently Saharan sand barely rates a mention – as a once every few years event, the impact is deemed negligible (unless, like me, you happen to be asthmatic and feel the need to breathe sometime before the dunes are blown back home). But it has been the catalyst for an outburst of interest in alternative energy sources and, more particularly, transport options. All more or less expensive. All well beyond my budget. All ok if you happen to be living life in the fast lane, earning mega money and more or less self-employed (ie – having lots of time to explore/indulge the range of experimental technologies).
As for myself – well I’m bound by tight financial constraints but (heroically!!) am still trying to do my bit. Ruling out investments in electric cars. Today, I had to take the usual journey to town, despite being off work. I was aware/happy that a lift home was easily available. Mindful of that air pollution – (and, not to be hypocritical – wishing to avoid having an extra car in town) I decided to use the environmentally responsible vehicle most easily available to me. I decided to travel by bus.
Now this is not a means I have recourse to very often. My job requires that I have daily use of a car. However, I look forward to being the proud possessor of a bus pass in the foreseeable future. So – now is the time to start practising for that auspicious Day, when I will announce to my employers that I will only travel to places easily accessible by bus route!
Anyway. Back to today. I am required to be at my destination in town by 19.00. The bus leaves from (almost) my front door at 18.05. And doesn’t get to town until 19.08. Now – I am not even going to comment on why a forty minute journey should take 63 minutes – but would you believe that the bus before the 18.05 leaves that same stop at my front door at 15.05????? Which would leave me wandering/shopping aimlessly for too long to contemplate!
Some might wonder whether I live in a remote tribal area of Outer Mongolia. Or whether I have chosen the seclusion of a Himalayan hideaway. But as you might guess – I live in a pretty (some might say up-and-coming) seaside town with good minor road connections to all the big local arterial routes. But which is particularly badly served by public transport.
I just wonder….. Could there be some mileage (see what I did there?) in our government investing in an affordable public transport system which actually serves the public? One which allows people the flexibility to travel when they wish – or need – to? Surely this – a do-able, immediate plan – should suggest itself to government as a good place to start to redress our current toxic fuel emissions problems?
Well. Too late for me today. you’ve guessed it. I’m going to drive.