A while ago I was watching a bloke on telly talking about the evils of driving big cars, especially 4 wheel drives. The general gist of the article was to persuade us all to travel by public transport or to buy a teeny tiny car powered by 3 AA batteries.
And do you know what?
I think I am a convert.
No, please don't be mistaken. This chap was completely 100% wrong. He converted me to the idea that driving and especially driving big cars is a good thing. I used to feel guilty about driving my 8 seat people carrier with just me in it. But no more. I imagine the majority of my readership drive. I do. And I drive a big car on occasion. In fact, from time to time I stick a monster great caravan on the back and pull that as well. Gross combined weight about 5 tons. And yes, I do happily hold up other traffic by not being in a particular hurry. And it is a good thing. Why is it such a good thing? Because I can do it when I want to do it from where I want to leave to where I want to go. If I had an electric car, even if it would pull the caravan I would have to stop and recharge the battery for about 12 hours every 20 miles or rely on the addition of a petrol engine and I already have one of them.
Alternatively, you could travel by train. I remember sitting on Gloucester train platform one very early morning when an announcement came over the crackly loudspeaker:
"We are sorry to inform you that the 6:52 to Newcastle has been cancelled"
That's it, end of announcement and a couple of blokes shuffled away. Of course you're not sorry Mr announcer. You weren't going to catch that train. What would you do? The next train is several hours away and it's a long way. If you had driven the journey is unlikely to be cancelled. Add to that the train costs about £250 each.
I don't know about where you live, but on the back of Gloucester buses there is a sign that says "One day Bus travel £2.50. 4 hours car parking £5". Or something like that. Now, there are 5 people in my household. That would be £12.50. And it will leave not when I want to but at some vague time related or not to the timetable. I will be guaranteed a grumpy driver and not a seat. It will be dirty and smelly and stop every 20 yards holding up the traffic behind it. Chances are it will be a rough ride and desperately uncomfortable.
I shall sign off now. Grumpfest over and wait for the hate mail from the Green party and associated carrot crunchers. Politically correct I may not be, but I'm bloody sure I can get where I want to go when I want to go there.
Leaving a Bitter Taste
1 week ago