Fuel Price Protests

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by PBancroft, 15 Dec 2007.

  1. PBancroft

    PBancroft Senior Member

    This is slightly OT and for that I apologise, but as it does relate to the cost of non-cycling commuter, I have to ask - what are your opinions on the fuel price protests?

    I drive as well as cycle - in all honesty I probably do the former more than the latter, but I am a bit of a newbie.

    However, I can't help but think that some of these protesters seem to be living on another planet. There is one quote which stood out for me on the linked page

    The car that I drive has yet to break the £40 barrier to fill up. It can carry five people, has frequently been used to transport my parents' dog and is about the same size as the aforementioned 307.

    I genuinely don't understand why people need to drive such thirsty vehicles... and then get upset when it costs more to run them.

    I never thought I would say this, but I hope that fuel duty does go up. With any luck it'll make a few people get off the road, or at least try alternative transport. A few more cyclists on my route in would be a joy to see.

    What do others think? Rising fuel prices a good or bad thing?
  2. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Behind a desk
    And June Walker never buys anything that comes on a truck, does she?
  3. Crackle

    Crackle Squatter

    You need to balance that view with those who live in the country with poor subsidised public transport. How would you fancy a 90 mile round trip on your bicycle to do the weeks shopping for four. Or a quick 10 mile hilly cycle ride to see the doctor when you're ill. Though I agree, a few more cyclists on the road would be no bad thing.
  4. OP

    PBancroft Senior Member

    Yes, I agree. For those living in the situation you describe running a car would be more expensive. I haven't said ban cars by any stretch (I did in fact say I drive too) but raising fuel prices would cut down unnecessary car journeys in my opinion.

    For every one family running your 90 miles round trip for the weeks shopping, there will be another ten who drive a twentieth of that to do theirs. My nearest supermarket in just over a mile away. I frequently see neighbours drive down there, only to return with a single bag of shopping.
  5. andygates

    andygates New Member

    High prices motivate thrift. Thrift is no bad thing.

    90 mile round trip to the shops? Where the Hell do you live? Choosing to drive past a load of supermarkets because you simply adore the Waitrose in Sporgingly-under-Cheesehead is not going to earn sympathy from me. :tongue:
  6. Crackle

    Crackle Squatter

    In the city yes but many who live in rural areas wouldn't have another option so therefore they are disproportianetly worse off because they actually end up paying more due to the higher mileages they have to drive.

    The pay per mile schemes which are being discussed also worry me for similiar reasons, though I appreciate rural roads would attract a lower charge.
  7. Crackle

    Crackle Squatter

    Nope, that's the nearest: 90 mile round trip without ferry or 80 miles with ferry. If I'm being picky and want to go to Tescos, that's a 2 hour journey 60 mile journey each way but I also get the choice of LIdl, Aldi and a co-op for that as well. These are not unusual distances once you get a wee bit North of the border, there are probably other places in the UK which are similiar too.
  8. OP

    PBancroft Senior Member

    There aren't any shops closer? At all... not just supermarkets? I know that where I live, which isn't exactly in the sticks, there are farms where I buy my meat from, local shops which sell toiletries etc.,

    Does the weekly shop have to be a weekly shop, or is it just conveniently in one place? Say, is it feasible to go there once a month for stuff you can get elsewhere, and things for the freezer, and three weeks rotating smaller, more specialised independents?
  9. Crackle

    Crackle Squatter

    Sure. There's a village shop, some places that sell venison and salmon and 12 miles away there's another village shop selling a bit more but these sell nothing but the basics plus a bit and not at basic prices. It's possible to keep going between big shops if you run out of something but really you need to go to the supermarket or a shopping centre (same place as supermarket - in town).

    I've got it down to about a nine day period now with some reliance on white van man delivering in bulk for stuff that'll keep and two freezers. Prior to moving here I used to 'nip' to the supermarket every few days but that's really not possible.

    This year Xmas came in a van!

    I think you really need to live somewhere like this to appreciate what the practicalities are. I always smile when I see car sharing schemes and hire car schemes being mooted as the answer to all car evils - it's a very city-centric view unfortunately.

    Edit: There's also a local organic grower who we use as often as possible. She delivers by bike.
  10. John Ponting

    John Ponting Über Member

    She didn't say she drove a thirsty car; the cost of filling a tank is dependant on the size of the tank NOT the rate of consumption.

    My car costs just over £50 to fill from almost empty but it then does a reasonable 43 mpg on any journey over 5 miles, even more if I'm in France.

    Incidentally, it only costs £20+change to fill the tank on my motorbike so is that better than your car ? It does over 60 mpg.
  11. OP

    PBancroft Senior Member

    Actually, that's a very valid point, and I retract my earlier whine about her thirsty car. While her car (a 307) is the same size as mine (a VW Polo) the smallest engine for a 307 is a 1.4, and the Polo is a 1.2, but that is really clutching at straws on my part as that's minimal. She does have a slightly larger tank capacity... 60l compared to 45l, so maybe not enough to quite make the £20 difference, but only by a hair's width.

    I do still think that fuel is relatively cheap, even now, considering the impact it has on our daily lives and the world around us.
  12. LLB

    LLB Guest

    Your post makes you sound a little sanctimonious Kaipaith.

    Its not the size of car, or the mpg which is crucially important, its the frequency of use and whether its role is fit for purpose in which justification should be made.
    Mine now costs £100 to fill from empty as it has a 90 litre tank, but the last time I filled it, it came to about £67 from empty. This is a substantial increase in 3 years.

    Next time your car needs an oil filter or some other consumable, or you upgrade your PC, consider how far it has been transported prior to purchase, and how much of its purchase cost is made up from the cost of its transportation from the far side of the globe !

    The cost of fuel is only so high here because the Labour government is attempting to fill the massive black hole in its spending with the duty.

    65p from a litre of fuel is still going in taxation so any attempt from the Yoghurt knitters to demonise the fuel companies should really be directed at those who benefit the most from the current fiscal policy - The Labour party and its army of workers.

    An increase in fuel costs will drive up inflation, stall the housing market further, and bring closer breaking of the backbone of the taxpayers in the UK - the private sector. Who will then pay the wages of the public servants ?
  13. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    The previous Tory government raised duty on fuel by over 118 percent. The present Labour government has only raised it by 25 percent.

    Crude oil prices have more than doubled although some of this has been offset by the fall in the value of the dollar.

    Recent jumps in fuel prices at the pump have occurred because the 'pound a litre' ceiling (which had restrained prices for quite a while) has now been breached and the brakes are well and truly off.

    Fuel is still only a monor part of the consumer price of goods. Otherwise we couldn't afford to ship Highland Spring Water down to Kent, Malvern Spring Water to Scotland, etc.
  14. OP

    PBancroft Senior Member

    You may well be right.

    I did beg forgiveness for my earlier comment, however, I do still wonder how many journeys considered vital in today's world really are. I also wonder whether the current price of fuel today propagates the idea that the individual has access the any of the resources he or she chooses at any point in time.

    I see as big a problem in the idea that a local Supermarket that sells strawberries in winter as someone who commutes 40 or 50 miles to work each day.

    Changing the cost of fuel would inherently change all of our lives. Some of it would be for the worse, but I think some of it would be for the better.
  15. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    Good and bad in the whole scenario.

    Higher prices will quite rightly inspire thrift as andtgates says. Agreed, no bad thing.
    What bothers me is, as a sensible driver, i'm somewhat forced to reduce my car useage with the higher prices.. I can drive my SRI Vectra sensibly and get 45mpg on a run...yet you will see company cars, Mercs, BMWs, 4x4s, Jags, executive cars being driven at 80 to 90 mph, probaby doing 15mpg...all the time, because theyre not bothered aboout fuel costs...the companies paying for it. It makes me a little sick.

    Protests...what protests...we British are too apathetic to do anything of note. Now the French...they know how to demonstrate :evil:
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