One of the topics that periodically appears in the media is the cost of petrol, the state of public transport and the state of the British roads. In the discussions that follow there are usually the same suggestions, more working from home (not possible for the vast majority of workers whether for practical reasons or due to paranoid employers) and more use of public transport – this is not going to happen until there is an improvement outside of the capital rather than the reduction in services currently seen in the majority of the country.
I have a different approach – I have beaten the traffic problems, don’t really care what the Chancellor does to the tax on petrol (and I do believe that it is a resource that is way too important to burn), and never have to worry about the bad weather in the winter.
I have done the commuting thing, spent 2 hours in the metal box every day, filled up with petrol every four days. Despite spending seven years in University getting a PhD I gave up a career in this area for a job that I can walk to. I hear people on the radio saying that it is all very well people living close to their work, but it is not possible for them. I disagree, and have proved that it is possible, it all depends on your priorities. I can honestly say that walking to work is one of the best financial decisions I ahve ever made, not to mention the changes it has enabled me to make in my lifestyle.
I don’t think that I could go back to a job that I have to commute to any more, I would miss listening to the birds sing as I walk to work. I even thought of applying for an environment-related job in a nearby town, but stopped when I realised that the positive impact I made in that job would be in part negated by the effects of a 60 mile round trip!