Petrol, Cycling and Rollercoasters.

The BBC are reporting that the approx. 20% increase in the price of petrol in the last year or so is driving people off the roads.  This doesn’t surprise me at all – however in many cases I suspect this means that people are also travelling less, rather than switching to (in many cases, non existant) alternatives like buses and trains.

Despite the ever rising costs of motoring (partly thanks to the Labour government’s obvious policy of “fleecing drivers for every penny they’ve got”) the alternatives are still more expensive – the fuel cost increases also of course affecting buses, taxis etc.  Until public transport returns to state ownership and can be subsidised by the taxation raised from motorists, it will not be able to compete with the car – for no matter how much fuel increases in price, those increases will also apply to the public transport operators, who in turn will raise fares in order to remain profitable.

I’m unfortunately stuck with using the car for work as the showers in the building where I work are not working at the moment, leaving me with 2 options.  Drive in, or cycle in and not be able to freshen up when I arrive.  Urgh. (and walking in leaves me feeling equally unpleasant)

I certainly think twice about getting in the car these days, I’ve not visited any UK themeparks this year – the cost of driving to Alton Towers or Thorpe Park is a substantial part of the cost of the day out (plus travelling somewhere like that on my own just makes it prohibitively expensive – even if I’m meeting someone when I get there).  It’s also clear from the availability of offer tickets for the parks that I’m not the only one – the parks aren’t usually giving tickets away in supermarkets this early in the season, it’s obvious that guest numbers must be down substantially.

To anyone reading this in America – $4 a gallon is not expensive.  We’re paying £1.15/litre here in the UK, which converts to around $8.50 per US gallon for regular unleaded gas, and with the premium on Diesel, that’s closer to $8.75.