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23 august 2012, I go driving...

A side effect of my other half being in budapest with the kids, is that I get to drive to work rather than my usual bike-train combination (26 september 2010). Not that I'm complaining; in fact I'm rather proud of both the health and public transport aspects of my norm (13 and 2 december 2009); but things are definitely easier with my resource burning, expensive car park using, single passenger citroen picasso. My northern think tank friends brought out an interesting paper on this today, showing that contrary to uk public perception, motoring has actually got cheaper over the past 20 years - even as the cost of public transport has risen by over 60% in the last 10. This is surely ludicrous when policy should be getting people out of their cars. The paper comes up, though a little irritatingly guardedly, with the obvious route, road charging, which simply won't be accepted here, despite being the norm in most of europe, as we experienced last week driving up and down rather nice spanish highways. It surely makes sense for those using the roads to pay for them rather than receive public subsidy better invested elsewhere. Above all I am a believer in rewards and incentives, and until people are priced out of driving alone in a car and the alternatives, like cycling and public transport, are sufficiently cheap and convenient, the carbon will keep on flowing, and the roads will keep on expanding. They paved paradise...