Eight-point plan

RECENT Exmouth Journal articles (“Haulier supports fuel protest idea”, January 20, and “Motorists call for halt to further fuel tax hikes”, January 27) suggest that commercial road users and the public are becoming increasingly frustrated by the high price of petrol.

Transition Town Exmouth – the environmental group that promotes practical responses to climate change and oil scarcity – is calling for a reality check on escalating fuel prices.

TTE wants the public to abandon knee-jerk reactions to higher prices at the pumps.

Instead, it is urging vehicle owners to consider the environmental implications of the crisis. TTE says that, with world oil production in decline, further oil price rises are unavoidable. Therefore, the only option is to reduce our dependence on oil.

TTE rejects campaigns to pressurise the Government into reducing tax on fuel. If such campaigns were successful, it would merely give a green light to our continuing wasteful oil consumption.

If motorists wish to petition the Government, TTE suggests that they should urge that the fuel tax be spent on research and development of sustainable energy sources. This would be a sensible step forward in meeting the UK’s carbon-reduction targets.

Obviously, it is difficult for people in outlying areas – especially the villages – to get about without a car, so we should be lobbying for improved public transport links and fighting recent proposals, such as the threatened withdrawal of subsidies for bus services in rural areas.

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Meanwhile, TTE has come up with an eight-point plan that everyone could adopt to improve their health, save the environment, counter climate change, reduce vehicle fuel usage and preserve oil reserves:

l Use a bicycle – or even walk – for short distances.

l For longer journeys, use public transport wherever possible.

l Use local shops instead of out-of-town supermarkets.

l Consider getting your shopping delivered.

l Trade down to a smaller or more fuel-efficient vehicle.

l Use your car as economically as possible.

l Turn off your engine when stationary.

l Car share, using schemes such as carshharedevon.com

Paul Strange

Press Officer on behalf

of Transition Town Exmouth.

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