How did you get to work today? Most days I make a choice between walking or cycling, the outcome is natural, it’s usually decided based on time and energy levels or whether I need a vehicle of some sorts to run errands in the day. I hate the very rare occasions I have to drive a van. A five-minute drive gives no opportunity to quietly think and get some exercise before my tasks of the day.
Until recently I hadn’t really thought about why I have these options or make the decisions I do, but working with EasitOxford, a partnership promoting green travel options, has brought my attention to how we decide our mode of travel.
I expect most people make an educated daily travel decision based on how much it will cost them, whether they want a healthier option and fundamentally how much time each mode of travel will take.
Parking a car seems to be a major consideration for some and I know many a person who advocates bicycle use to overcome that obstacle.
But then again I have met those with an enviable inner-city parking space who still cycle for the exercise. I have friends who never learnt to drive or gave up due to its hostility. They love the bus or train and then their two feet fill in the gaps.
Listening to BBC Oxford last week I heard snippets of a delightful piece about travel in Oxford before the motorcar. Did you know an Oxford tram was turned down because the overhead cables were considered too unsightly for our picturesque city? Would you have used it? Everybody walked back then, even unimaginable distances nowadays, or if lucky you went by horse and cart. Neither option seems particularly speedy for today’s jobs and lifestyles – you just couldn’t afford the time. We must be so much busier than our ancestors but I don’t know if that’s a good thing.
Time is of the essence, we want to get from A to B in as little time as possible. Even when we go on holiday the journey is seen as a hindrance, not an experience. I really love taking longer on my daily commute, I take the dog to work most days and we like to get off road amongst nature, perhaps even adding a few miles by bike.
I wouldn’t dream of driving around our city when there are other options available. Perhaps you are thinking seriously about changing your commuting habits, maybe to get fitter or to be greener. EasitOxford is launching now and can help. Working in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council as part of the Government’s carbon reduction strategy to encourage more intelligent car use and inspire modal switch to public transport or walking and cycling, your employer may already be a member. You can check at www.easit.org.uk/ easitoxford. If not and you would like your business to become a member or would like more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org