Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Most smart people don't need to be told this.

Did that title make you wonder what I have to say?
My comment is in response to this story on Yahoo's homepage today. If you haven't time to read the article, it details how "the school run" can work out quite expensive.
To me the item must be targeted at the less smart people. Most car owners know that short journeys can create a lot of wear and tear on their car, that sitting in traffic burns fuel. you know..I don't think it is obvious to many people.
I used to attend St Martin's college in Lancaster, now the Lancaster campus of the University of Cumbria. It is situated on the South side of the city, Morecambe to the West/North West of Lancaster. One of my lectures finished at 6pm on a weekday, and I was asked why I drove around the Crook of Lune to get home, tracking out to the East and working my way then Westwards to Morecambe. The journey took around 20-25 mins. It could taker longer than that to get from the South side of Lancaster to the Asda roundabout in Morecambe, at peak times that journey can take an hour easily. I figured I was burning the same if not less fuel by my detour, causing less wear and tear on my car, plus it was a relaxing drive, compared to the frustrating journey of less than 2 miles between the two places I named.
The other thing the item states, is that exercise is good for you, and a 15-20 minute walk is preferable, as it is healthier.
I agree with all the points the article makes. doesn't go far enough. Most days I walk to work, as it is only a 15-20 minute walk, so all the arguments about wear and tear on my car still stand. One that it can't say is that it is better for me most days, as I have osteoarthritis, and if I can keep active it is better for me...for now at least.
One of the reasons I chose a house in Morecambe when I got divorced was it was close to my elder two children's school, close to plenty of shops, the promenade...and this might seem strange when you know I am a car owner, but close to a bus route and the train station. At this time of year unless you are going into Lancaster for a huge amount of shopping it is much less stressful to take the train or bus, and cheaper, because after you have sat in traffic to get where you want to be you still have to pay for parking. The local bus route to me runs every 10 minutes during the day, never long to wait A Bay rider ticket probably works out less than taking your car into Lancaster and parking it whilst you shop. The train is even cheaper, but not as frequent.
I seem to have gone off at a tangent, but my point is, the article, though informative really tells an intelligent person nothing they couldn't figure out for themselves. One last thing, the article doesn't say this, but...people take their children to school in the car, because of the amount of traffic on the roads...if they ALL stopped, the problem would go away, and it would be MUCH safer to walk.

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