Tag Archive | "green cars"

More People Are Choosing Greener Journeys (allegedly)


Have you ever had your views consulted by any Government Department? The answer to that question from virtually everybody is ‘No’. Yet according to the Department for Transport (DfT) efforts to make it easier for people to choose greener ways of travelling to and from public transport hubs are working, at least according to a new report. Wonder who they are asking?

The so-called ’door to door action plan’ published today by the DfT identifies the good work being ‘taken forward’ that will help make door-to-door journeys by public transport, cycling or walking the norm. Real life journeys on public transport tend to be more complicated than just a single trip on a train or three stops on the local bus. The Government say they want to make it as easy as possible for people to choose greener ways of getting between each mode of transport.

Since they launched this ’door to door strategy’ eight months ago, there have apparently already been significant improvements to integrate public transport. This action plan highlights where progress has been made but there is still more to be done.

Quoted examples of successes include a £14 million investment in two new state-of-the-art bus interchanges at Rochdale and Mansfield improving integration with rail as well as making it easier and safer for people to use sustainable transport. Additionally, a £14.5 million investment in cycle facilities at railway stations has been the major enabler in doubling the amount of cycle parking spaces at stations in the lifetime of this Parliament. This has contributed to the number of cycle-rail journeys increasing from 14 million in 2009 to an all time high of 39 million a year.

Last summer the Prime Minister announced plans for ‘cycle-proofing’ roads so that all new trunk roads and improvement schemes will be designed with cyclists as well as motorists in mind. As part of that, the Highways Agency is also spending £20 million to improve existing infrastructure for cyclists on the strategic roads network.

All these plans are all well and good but how many non-car users are truly receiving any form of benefit out of these grandiose pronouncements. Certainly nobody in rural areas that’s for sure. Until this country has a root and branch look at its transport infrastructure there will always be winners and losers. Statistics can say anything.

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As Green As Green Can Be


Life is unfair. Drivers, for example, are made to feel as if they must bear the brunt of responsibility for the social and ecological damage caused by cars. In fact, our contribution is pretty small. Energy is used and emissions created on an industrial scale throughout the process of making both fuel and cars before they even get to us, so don’t feel too bad about it.

Many people today consider the green credentials of cars when making a purchase. Unless the buyer is wealthy, the general expense of motoring means that economy, in its various forms, pretty much takes priority. Nevertheless, there are plenty of new cars out there that fit the bill. You really can have it both ways.

Some drivers have to travel tens of thousands of miles in a year and need some comfort and performance. They can’t possibly use a frugal city car. Fortunately, there is a wide range of executive motors that still offer very decent fuel economy and reasonably green stats. They’re all diesels of course but, if you’re doing more than 10k miles in a year then the fuel price premium will pay for itself. The car will also hold a better price on the used car market.

As an example of how motor manufacturers have upped their game, a long distance driver need look no further than the Volvo S60 DRIVe (the small ‘e’ is their choice). This comfortable, elegant car will do 66mpg (on the combined cycle), coughs up a tiny 114g/km of the bad stuff and, at the time of writing, only costs £30 in Vehicle Excise Duty. When we ‘re talking about quality cars that fit the green agenda we can’t leave out the ubiquitous BMW. The 3 Series F30 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon (pictured) running on standard wheels and tyres will achieve 69mpg, 109g/km and all on a £20 road tax rate. In a few short years the achievement is astonishing.

In the small car arena the competition is probably at its most fierce. Obviously the increasing amount of electric cars win the economy battle with offerings from Renault, Peugeot, Citroen and Mitsubishi all achieving the equivalent of over 200mpg with no emissions and no road tax costs – as yet. The argument that electric cars by nature of their production emissions – all those batteries – are not quite as green as they seem continues to rumble on. The only drawback is, as ever, range anxiety and cost, for now.

There are city cars and superminis, both petrol and diesel, that will now offer in excess of 70mpg with emissions below the magic 99g/km target. The VW Polo 1.2 diesel BlueMotion along with choices from Ford, Fiat and Skoda all fit the bill. In fact, across the ranges of family cars and estates, crossovers, SUV’s and even sporting models the canny eco-buyer can have his greens and eat them too!

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