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Forums > Social Discussion > Idea to ease the car problem

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Idea to ease the car problem.

The 'car problem' being very evident in any major UK city doing peak travelling time, and the surrounding hours.

The fastest form of transport at those times is the bicycle (or, in my case, the unicycle), with walking comparing favourably to the car.

As I see it, the main cause is that, at commuting time, a fair portion of city 'a's population make their way to city 'b', whilst, simulteaounsly, a fair portion of city 'b', make their way to city 'a'.

They do this to get to their jobs.

Many of those jobs are identical, or very nearly so.

So, for example, an accountant living in 'a' and working in 'b', could swap with an accountant cuurently living in 'b' and working in 'a'.

Similarly with supermarket workers, teachers etc, etc.

The net result would be much decreased congestion, along with all the other benefits of less traffic-

1. less accidents
2. less pollution
3. less stress
4. more free time (as no hours spent commuting in a traffic jam)

Of course, the main blocks are going to be people insisting that it can't work, that it will involve expense for employers (re-training, problems with new employers perhaps being of lesser quality than the old ones etc).

My suggestion would be for the government to offer some form of financial incentives to companies/employers who were willing to swap employees in this way.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 15414
Posted:Is that not just more work for the government, which I know they wouldnt do seeing as we all know what they are.

smile

I think getting rid of the underground and replacing the tracks with moving walkways (like you get in Airports).
That way, it an carry more people, around the clock, drivers couldnt go on strike, you would never have to wait for a train and you wouldnt get those idiots who press the "Open Door" button on the underground trains.


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Fearpig
BRONZE Member since Sep 2003

Fearpig

member - tee hee "member"
Location: Bethnal Green, London, England...

Total posts: 279
Posted:Being a techie geek myself they are sort of half heartedly trying a solution...

The government realised that a lot of workers working from home would mean less traffic at rush hour and in general. They have set up a scheme were the government will subsidise any company willing to buy equipment to enable their workers to work from home. At the moment it seems like a bit of a trial run and I don't think they actually get much money but it is a step in the right direction.

Seems like a really good idea to me and I would love to work from home but with my job I have to be on site to fix servers and stuff.

Wouldn't end the school-run though!


"Whats wrong with the cat?" - Mrs Schrdinger

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MiG
GOLD Member since Apr 2004

MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG, Australia

Total posts: 3415
Posted:when we get the little chiplike implanty things, so we can learn everything by plugging in to a computer, then we'll solve the school run. and have 5 year olds that can comfortably understand quantum physics :S

"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:OWD I applaud your idea to reduce congestion, but is it practical for an an accountant living in 'a' and working in 'b', to swap jobs with an accountant currently living in 'b' and working in 'a'?



A reduction in single occupant cars would seem a better idea ie. car pooling. This is encouraged in Melbourne where cars with passengers have a special transit lane during peak hours. Like wise the surcharge on cars entering the CBD in London has reduced congestion.



Alternatively, if we break the nine to five model and have flexible hours this takes the pressure of transport and reduced peak demands for energy.



I think people riding bicycles in peak hour traffic represent a huge risk to both themselves and other road users, especially as they dont appear to follow any of the road rules wink


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Mistress_Maledicti


Heaven doesn't want me, and Hell is afraid I'll take over
Location: Wolverhampton

Total posts: 192
Posted:I agree with Stone, flexible working practices would go a long way towards easing peak-time congestion but that also poses problems for the idea of car-pooling. It's easy enough to share a car with someone but it means you need to keep to the same hours as they do if you want to guarantee getting home again.

It would have been ideal for me if I could swap my job in Brum for an identical job in Wolves - shouldn't even be that difficult as they both have Universities, which is where I work. Despite keeping an eye on the Wolves Uni job site, I can't find a job there comparable to mine that pays the same wage so even if I did try to apply for something there, they'd start wondering why I was taking a 1,500 pay cut!

Luckily I can get to work in 1.5hrs using public transport and for all it's failings, the rail system usually manages to get me there and back without too much in the way of delays.

sin


"Abashed, the Devil stood and saw how awful Goodness is"

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: Stone

OWD I applaud your idea to reduce congestion, but is it practical for an an accountant living in 'a' and working in 'b', to swap jobs with an accountant currently living in 'b' and working in 'a'?




Well yes, at least for a portion of them- that's the whole point of this thread.

Your other ideas are good ways for smearing the problem out to stop it occuring during specific 'peak' times.

I prefer mine because it does more than smear the problem around- it is meant to actually cut down the number of cars on the road (thus it also has advantages with pollution etc).

---------

Gothmuppet- in your case a job swap entails lower wage- that's why there'd be financial incentives from the govt (also bear in mind the incentive of less costs on travel and the extra three hours in your day you'll gain from not having to travel).


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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peter pan


newbie


Total posts: 9
Posted:Maybe England is different, but the places that I am familiar with do not really work like OWD describes. In North America it is sickening urban sprawl with people living in the suburbs and commuting into the downtown of the cities. There are not generally people living down town and commuting to the suburbs, so this idea would not work.

I do like the idea of living more locally though, eating locally grown food, shopping in local stores, working close to home, etc.


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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands, United Kingd...

Total posts: 7263
Posted:Wow! I had this exact idea about 10 years ago when I had to drive for 45 minutes to where I worked. Was talked out of it by some other folk and was 18 so not exactly up for self employment potential of the year.



So, therefore, I conclude it's a wonderful idea and would be brilliant not only for our poluted environment, but also for our home and family life too.



Just think, some people spend two hours driving to and from work five days a week....that's 10 hours!! Imagine if each of those spent 5 hours a week juggling and spinning! They'd get reasonably good and still have an extra 5 hours (ish) a week! With that many people converted and on 'our' side we could take over the whole country!! wink


Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Mele
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

Mele

A perth girl gone walkabout...
Location: Back home in Perth WA, Austral...

Total posts: 396
Posted:
I guess thats where its good doing the live in job thing... my work provides me with accomodation 5 mins away from work, and so its a leisurely stroll to work everyday...

Not always practical tho if you have lots of stuff, but i've gotta say, the public transport in this country is quite good compared to most....


I smile because i have no idea whats going on!! biggrin

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88Jack88


88Jack88

newbie
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 21
Posted:You could only swap accountant A with accountant B if they were seen as equal, otherwise one firm might end up with all the brilliant accountants and another with all the duds. Then Uber-firm takes over the world wink

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Of course. It goes without saying that swapped employees would be of approximately equal standards.

Given the amount of grades, levels and qualifications involved in employment these days, it should be fairly straightforward to assess this equality smile

While there's obviously a risk that an employer could end up with someone who, on reflection, they consider to be 'worse' than the previous employee; this would be offest by the equally likely possibility of getting someone they consider 'better'.

Furthermore the financial incentive from the government would help to offset any problems.

Also, bear in mind that it's not a compulsory scheme- any company not willing to be involved would simply not take part; it's their decision based on their assessment of whether the slight risk is offset by the financial incentive.

At the end of the day though, the current situation in employment is contributing heavily to the problems on our roads as they lead to a great deal of cars on the roads that are unnecessary. I feel that: -

1. this should be recognised

2. those responsible should be accountable, and take some part in solving the problem they are responsible for


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Dave, are you suggesting we should be accountable for working? I think gridlock is a recognised term, but I dont see how your scheme will make a significant difference.

Surely the people who can, have moved closer to their employment. Would the financial incentives include half a million dollars for someone to upgrade their house, in an area closer to their employment?

How many people do you think would have to relocate to make a significant difference?


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:I think you've misunderstood Stone; I'm not talking about people moving closer to where they work.

Best thing would be to read the intital post where I set out the details- esentially I'm talking about people exchanging (similar)jobs, so they're closer to their place of employment without having to relocate.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Oops, I must have got lost somewhere in the So, for example, an accountant living in 'a' and working in 'b', could swap with an accountant currently living in 'b' and working in 'a'. example.



That seems more feasible. Still, Id be interested to know how many job swaps you think would be necessary to make a difference. It still seems a bit complicated to me, especially the Gov grants and equal employment opportunities. I think an easier solution would be to jack up the price of fuel smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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ado-p
GOLD Member since May 2004

ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland

Total posts: 3882
Posted:You might have a pay scale problem there dave

alot of jobs pay more or less depending on where they are located. cost of living etc


Love is the law.

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peter pan


newbie


Total posts: 9
Posted:Written by: Stone

It still seems a bit complicated to me ... I think an easier solution would be to jack up the price of fuel smile



I agree totally, I think it would be an absolute beaurocratic nightmare to attempt to involve the government in something like this.
If we were to calclate the real cost of driving a car, convert that into a dollar amount (or pound, whatever) and charge people what it should cost to drive a car then nobody could afford to.


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: Stone


That seems more feasible. Still, Id be interested to know how many job swaps you think would be necessary to make a difference. It still seems a bit complicated to me, especially the Gov grants and equal employment opportunities. I think an easier solution would be to jack up the price of fuel smile



Written by: ado-p

You might have a pay scale problem there dave

alot of jobs pay more or less depending on where they are located. cost of living etc



It will no doubt be complicated, and there will no doubt be problems- there always are when change is introduced.

Nevertheless, IMO, the problems can be overcome/resolved/minimised and are anyway considerably less than the extent of the present problems caused by excess cars.

More important, mixed in with the genuine problems that accompany large scale change and administration of that change, are the 'problems' that aren't real problems, but just the inevitable knee-jerk reactions that go along with radical solutions.

Written by: ado-p

You might have a pay scale problem there dave

alot of jobs pay more or less depending on where they are located. cost of living etc



You wouldn't have a pay-scale problem as the exchanges would be amongst employees of roughly equal status.

Significant variation of pay with location tends to happen with locations that are far apart, whereas the exchange I'm talking about would be between relatively close together towns. If people are commuting, then chances are the towns aren't that far apart.

Any unavoidable discrepencies would be adjusted either by the money saved from not having to commute (for both parties), and/or government cash incentives.

------------

If anyones wondering for the justification for the govt offering incentives, it would be the fact that, overall, cash would be saved; primarily through savings in road maintainance, and relief from the financial losses caused by our current conjested road/transport system; also possibly the fact that the workforce will tend to be more productive when they're not wasting 1-4 hours every working day, sat in traffic jams.

-----------

I'd also say that IMO, the only reason that the current car situation is seen as being even remotely sane, is because it's a long standing situation which has come to be seen as the norm.

The past attempts to resolve it have been 'patches' (car sharing, changing the road system etc).

As often happens, the simplest solution- remove the need for the jourenys in the first place, was overlooked, and effort put into a host of 'more clever' 'solutions'.

What I'm suggesting in this thread isn't rocket science- a few seconds objective reflection will surely leave anyone seeing that it's a totally obvious way to approach the problem of too many cars being on the road at precisely the times when people are passing each other as they go to their respective, and remarkably similar, jobs.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:(Off topic rant for no reason)

It bothers me that, whenever I have a choice of taking my car or mass transit, and I think "I'll do the right thing and take mass transit"... I get SCREWED.

As someone who drives a TON, I say:
Tax gasoline to improve mass transit.

But the US would revolt if that actually happened. wink


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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MrConfused
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

MrConfused

addict
Location: I wish I knew, United Kingdom

Total posts: 529
Posted:NYC, you've been to the UK. You've seen our public transport. You've seen our fuel prices, 80% of which is tax.

"Tax gasoline to improve mass transit" doesn't work.


If you're not confused, you're not thinking about things hard enough.

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:MrConfused,

Been to the US? Seen our public transport?

Oh, I'm sorry...99% of the country, THERE ISN'T ANY!

For all the complaining that Brits do about their mass transport, at least you have some. We don't. AT ALL. Believe me, even in the smaller outlying towns, you don't need a car in the UK. You do in the US.

Yes, taxing gasoline ***WHILE PROVIDING ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION*** does work.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX, USA

Total posts: 2014
Posted:Lightning's right. I live in a small town (60,000 peeps) and do my part by walking 10 minutes to work each day. However, for me to get to the city where all my friends live, I have to drive 1 hour. There is absolutely no bus or anything else that will transport me there, so driving is required if I am ever to keep my sanity.

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Public transport in Sheffield does exist; much of it is good, much of it isn't (some areas are not well catered for as they are on 'non-profitable' routes).

Obviously, public transport is as affected by conjestion/traffic gridlock as private cars.

Certainly, getting to work on a bus will generally involve a tedious journey on an overcrowded bus i.e. it's very unpleasant.

Going back to my original idea- if less people have to commute to work (either by car, bus or tram) they simply don't have the problem; and those who are left to commute, will have a better time of it as the roads will be less locked up.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Topic for academic discussion yes,,,practical, no ( IMHO )

If you live in city "A" and work in city "B" then the easiest and most practical thing to do is move house to city "B". Not too hard if you're renting, but it could involve alot of expense if you have to sell and buy again. Can you even afford a house in city "B" ?

It's a pretty big deal to change jobs, I think it ranks just under divorce under the list of things that most people find stressful, and I don't think employers are going to be too happy about replacing their hard working, dedicated employee(s) with someone new and unknown.

The U.K. ( at least the parts I've seen ) is a mass transit paradise when you compare it with this part of the world. The cities aren't too bad but once you get to the outlying areas, you're out of luck there isn't any, yet. My primary source of income has me only driving 8 minutes to work, I could walk in 20 but I have to haul 150 kilos of stuff with me every day, so transit is out out of the equation. My secondary source of income has me driving an hour and a half,,,,each way. Again transit isn't an option, there isn't any.

If my secondary source becomes my primary source,,,We'll move.


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: stout






If you live in city "A" and work in city "B" then the easiest and most practical thing to do is move house to city "B". Not too hard if you're renting, but it could involve alot of expense if you have to sell and buy again. Can you even afford a house in city "B" ?







For most people moving house is neither easy nor practical, especially families; with one partner possibly with a local job, kids used to their school etc.



Which is why I'm suggesting an alternative which avoids having to re-locate/move house.







Written by: stout




It's a pretty big deal to change jobs, I think it ranks just under divorce under the list of things that most people find stressful, and I don't think employers are going to be too happy about replacing their hard working, dedicated employee(s) with someone new and unknown.





Fair enough, if you're talking about changing jobs in the context of here and now ie pre- the swap scenario I'm proposing.



Changing jobs, pre- the swap scenario, often arises from stressful circumstances eg redundancy, periods of unemployment, and no support system in place in the new workplace.



But I'm suggesting a different scenario.



I'm suggesting an established, government funded system not for changing jobs, but for workers to do pretty much the same job, but in a location which is far more convenient both for them, and for road users in general.



That system would include relevant financial incentives, plus support systems for those who decide to take part.



Taking part would not only be of manifest benefit to the individuals who choose it (as they will be financially better off/have more time to spend with their families/leisure time), it would also be seen as socially responsible.



AND, for those who are suspicious/negative of it, there would be no compulsion to become involved.





"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:The list of stressful events didn't specify under what circumstances changing jobs put it high on the list, but fair enough, if you have financial obligations, and are forced to change jobs against your will, IMHO that's alot more stressful than changing jobs willingly. I also understand that people could have commitments that could make moving house a little less than convienient, but I still believe that this idea will be a little less than popular with employers.

Supposed you've spent time and effort training an employee, and I'll use a mechanic as an example. A garage owner may hire a mechanic, and then spend time and effort training him/her to work on the type of cars that particular garage happens to have expertise in repairing,,,say Toyotas. Now ,,,as the garage owner who is suddenly faced with the loss of his mechanic under this program, maybe the system has a replacement to send me,,but would he be a Toyota mechanic? or someone who's spent the past while fixing Fiat's?

Point is, employers spend time and effort training employees, and usually want to keep the reliable ones, and suddenly being told by the government that they have to give them up, isn't going to go over to well, even if it is socially responsible. I assume we're talking about skilled occupations here, not Mcjobs.

One system that did work really well and was implemented by a bank over here is as follows.

They set up a program where employees earned a number of " Living Well Points". These points were awarded for things like, taking transit, or walking/cycling to work,,working out at a gym three times per weeek,,,doing community voulenteer work etc. At the end of the year, the points were redeemable for prizes,,,,,good prizes. and the great unspoken thing about this system had your accumulated points related to the potential for promotion within the compamy. If you really wanted to get the government involved, they could award tax breaks to companies who adopted this plan.

I do like your idea, but the realist in me sees the potential for problems and abuse, problems like the distance one lives from a potential place of employment, becomming a possible barrier to employment. and if the swapped employees come with a big fat retraining cheque attached to them, well I'll just call up my buddy who owns a garage in city "B" and......


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MrConfused
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

MrConfused

addict
Location: I wish I knew, United Kingdom

Total posts: 529
Posted:Written by:
For all the complaining that Brits do about their mass transport, at least you have some. We don't. AT ALL. Believe me, even in the smaller outlying towns, you don't need a car in the UK. You do in the US.

Yes, taxing gasoline ***WHILE PROVIDING ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION*** does work.



Aren't you just arguing with yourself here?? You say we have decent coverage of public transport over here, you have to admit we're taxed through the teeth for gas, yet if people who could use public transport to commute to and from work actually did use it, we wouldn't have the problems we have with rush hour traffic.

High taxes on gas, alternative transport provided, still people are sitting in their cars.

People are too stuck on the idea of the "freedom" of having your own vehicle to use public transport, and resign themselves to paying the extra tax.
The only way (imo) increasing tax could get people out of their cars would be if there was a major hike (I'm thinking 20p on the litre), rather than the penny at a time the government usually do, for precisely this reason. They don't really want us out of our cars. How much income would they lose if we all did this?

Sorry for getting slightly offtopic

J


If you're not confused, you're not thinking about things hard enough.

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