Friday, 23 May 2008

Happy National Live-Near-To-Work Day!

My contribution to the petrol crisis is to introduce National Live-Near-To-Work Day on the basis that if work is more than an hours' commute, either your workplace is in the wrong place or your house is.

And while we're about it why can't we stick a few more carriages on all our (re-nationalised) trains, re-open the axed stations and reinstate the school bus system to minimise traffic? If the school bus was good enough for me, why isn't it good enough for today's precious little darlings?

Furthermore let's encourage every city and town to source as many of its goods and services locally as possible. It is ludicrous to have legions of salesmen and contractors chugging up and down the country farting fumes to offer services nationwide that could be provided more locally, greenly, and you would have thought cheaply, supporting their local economy into the bargain, (unless for extremely specialised products and services). Everyone and their dog for example sells office furniture and nearly all of it looks the same - why would anyone need to go too far afield for it?

And many of our continental cousins already have shared car lanes to encourage car sharing in the speediest most desirable lane of the highway - where are ours?
They also have more freight trains removing unnecessary haulage trucks off the roads. Where are ours?

Far from being an environmental purist, I rather enjoy driving, but I do feel we rely on our cars way too much and could try harder to reduce our number of car journeys. Being organised and getting as many errands done as possible on each journey also saves an amount of petrol I find.

The one positive aspect about being broke in the 'credit crunch' is at least it may force us to economise, automatically becoming greener and wasting less on every level, much though saving stuff and not consuming does not equate to 'sexy environmentalism' entailing the purchase of inflated eco-branded products.

My consultancy invoice is in the post Mr Brown! I think you'll find it's a fraction of what these overpriced transport infrastructure and economist fatcats charge!

*By the way I hereby decree this day a National Bank Holiday for househunting - for those who live an unsustainable distance from work!

A typical British railway line v a typical British road


KAZ said...

Yes - bring back the school bus or minibus. Or - better still - get those little fatties and lazy gits to walk.

The rush hour round here at the end of school is almost as bad as the 5.30pm one. It's all those mums who are outraged if a carrot isn't local enough but won't send their kids to the local schools.

moi said...

Splendid post. You should be in charge of something, somewhere. I live 20 miles from a big city. I go into town twice a week. All errands are organized to those two days. If I forget something, tough shit. Which means I've gotten exceptionally good at creating gourmet meals out of eggs, salsa, and beef jerky.

teeni said...

I wish everyone could live a bicycle ride or walk's distance from their jobs/groceries and other necessities. If planning boards had thought of those things rather than planning huge cities where everything is lumped into one place, life might be easier and way less fuel would be needed and more exercise would be had. I'm all for going back to horse and buggies and installing inns every so often. Trips would be longer but more people would be employed and people would be more involved with other people rather than living isolated lives. Just my opinion. :)

Steve said...

Very smugly I live a mere 15 minutes from my place of work - in fact, no matter what job I have had over the years I have always either walked or cycled to it. Can I have a gold star please miss?

Anonymous said...

Yeah I'm with Steve - I have always chosen a house where I can get to work by foot or on a bike even when I could have afforded a much bigger place with land if I had lived further out. But then I have to practise what I preach!

I LOVE driving - adore it - and I HATE trains.

Oil prices probably need to get a bit higher yet before they seriously start to turn people out of their cars and make them think more carefully about where they will live and work.

Bit it's the lack of tax on airline fuel that is the thing that really needs sorting. It is so cheap for G to fly from Edinburgh to here - it would cost twice as much by train and I dread to think of the cost if she drove. Convenient for us but outrageous really in environmental terms.

Do you want to come and give a lecture for me???

Wisewebwoman said...

I've been observing all of this myself, Laura, scandalous those behemoth trucks farting their filth and railtracks standing idle beside the road. Co-rant over.

The Sagittarian said...

"farting fumes" - love that!
Even tho' I live in a city I can walk to work (which might take 25 mins if I hurry) or bus or drive. Like Steve, I have pretty much always lived close to work. Seemed logical, why waste my own time getting to and fro?

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Excellent point re the eco double-standards of the 4x4-driving mum Kaz.

Thank you Moi - I shall appoint you as the first model citizen of my new model town!

Wise words Teeni - isn't joined-up thinking a wonderful thing? And if we don't plan conurbations to suit their denizens - who and what ARE they for?

Steve, I think you deserve at least two gold stars - to decorate your angel wings with!

RB - another lady who deserves some gold stars. Though you'll definitely have to trade in that partner for a locally-produced one - sorry! Much though I don't wish to see flights banned, think there's going to have to be a cap of say 4 x non-business flights a year per person or something soon. Raising prices/adding taxes will just penalise the less well-off. What kind of lecture RB?

Wisewebwoman - many thanks for the eco co-rant!

Sagittarian, if only more people thought like you. I know I HATE getting up in the morning and couldn't physically manage to get myself dressed & ready for work on top of a commute of more than an hour. About half an hour when I'm lucky with the buses.

Megan said...

Well said.