Friday, 15 January 2016

Love Me, Love My Car.

Is having your photo taken caressing your car a thing?
 There seem to be loads of these on the 'Net.
 
 And it's not just men...

Can't explain why, but this guy is my favourite:
 
And yet, according to the BBC Business Section today, we seem to have fallen out of love with the car. Possibly permanently?

It's an interesting piece that tells us that, at some point in the '90s, the ever-increasing total number of miles being driven every year bottomed out.

It goes on to say "In 2012, the RAC Foundation got together with a group of academics. They analysed Britain's stats between 1995 and 2007, stopping there to leave out the impact of the subsequent recession.

And this is what they found. About 70% of us were driving more. But the average mileage was being dragged down because young men, company car drivers and Londoners were driving less."

The key findings were:
  • Men in their twenties drive 1,912 miles a year less than they did in the mid-1990s
  • The number of men in their twenties holding a full driving licence also dropped by 11% between the mid-1990s and 2005-07
  • Company car mileage dropped by nearly 40% between 1995-97 and 2005-07
  • Driving mileage across London fell by 20% in the decade leading up to the recession
OK, we'll ignore the first one because they would have been in their mid-teens in the '90s.

Number 2 is the surprising one - I know wanted to get a licence as soon as I was old enough.

Number 3 has to be a good thing. I remember the bad old days when it was normal for petrol companies to give away free gifts to Company Car Drivers to get them in while charging too much for the petrol because "the Company was paying for it."  Video-conferencing and tele-commuting and the decline of British industry would have played a part in this of course.

Number 4.  Two words.  Congestion Charge.

Another interesting statement in the story:

"If car use has peaked, this will radically change transport policy - and in particular should lead to a complete reassessment of the government's £15bn road-building plans."

Wonder if anyone would notice if a 31 mile stretch went AWOL?  The BBC beat me to the headline - Highway Robbery.

Now, just time to give the Jag a wash and a cuddle.

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