Tuesday, 24 March 2009

"The flashing red light on the car you hit blinded you...?"

Oxford City Council is paying for 50-minute "green driving" lessons in order to save money on fuel - but they are not cutting expenses handed out to staff.

More than 330 workers from every department were this week being given a £30 pounds class in efficient driving.
Hey, at least one private enterprise is making money in this recession - the one that saw these suckers coming, and is being paid for such sterling advice as:
Employees will be told not to accelerate too quickly, move into higher gears earlier and remove excess weight from their vehicles.

They are also being taught to observe roads carefully so they can save fuel.
Yeah, that'll lead to a 'Cleaner, Greener, Oxford' I'm sure....

7 comments:

Dr Melvin T Gray said...

The idea was supported by the Energy Saving Trust and it would have been fairer to point out a minor role in what is a much wider initiative.

Ambitious schemes pioneered by the University and Oxford Commerce must involve collaboration and practical commitments from Oxford City Council. So damned if they do and damned if they don't?

Angry Exile said...

Ambitious schemes pioneered by the University and Oxford Commerce must involve collaboration and practical commitments from Oxford City Council. So damned if they do and damned if they don't?

Why must they involve the council? Are local businesses and the University incapable of managing to do this off their own back? At the very least I'd have thought the physics department would be able to explain early gear changes, light right feet and not carrying around 50 kilos of shit in the boot. Really this isn't rocket science (sorry physicists) and should be taught in driving lessons at the expense of learner drivers, not taxpayers. And why would the Council be damned either way? As far as I can see they're getting criticized now because they're spending more in the vague hope of future saving rather than real expectation. The article does say that expenses are not being cut.

Personally I think that little will ever be saved while someone else is paying for the fuel. From personal experience of doing 60-70000 kms a year and paying for all the fuel I can tell you that I bloody well learned to make it go as far as possible. Never drove with more than half a tank if I could help it - that was nearly 40 kilos saved right there. The cost of finding this sort of thing out was $0 and I didn't even have to listen to someone wibbling at me for an hour.

Dr Melvin T Gray said...

Angry Exile, I agree with your points. Unfortunately, too few employees exercise your examples of self evident economy. Filling a half empty fuel tank to the brim remains de règle and the small cost of reinforcing the obvious and other driver training may show returns later.

Tabloids this side of the pond also face hard times, creating greater competition to print sensational elements that can be winkled from any report. Balanced journalism no longer inflates readership.

Longrider said...

Good luck to the institution that sold them the package. It's dressed up as "green driving" these days. When I was teaching people to drive cars and ride bikes for a living, we called it defensive driving...

JuliaM said...

"The idea was supported by the Energy Saving Trust and it would have been fairer to point out a minor role in what is a much wider initiative."

As AE says, this isn't rocket science. And why should we pay twice - once for the Energy SDaving Trust to exist at all, and once for the council to squander money on commonsense?

"Unfortunately, too few employees exercise your examples of self evident economy."

Because, as with the council, it's not their money...

"Good luck to the institution that sold them the package."

Indeed. Can't blame them for seeing these suckers coming, after all...

Angry Exile said...

Dr Gray, true about sensationalist journos, which I don't think are confined to the tabloids by any means. And frankly it's not the most significant waste the TPA or anyone else have ever come up with. However, it does have a very easy solution. As I said earlier the problem is not that people don't understand how to drive efficiently because it's trivial to learn (as demonstrated by the fact that these lessons are less than an hour long), but that it is that someone else is paying the fuel bill. The solution is to increase salaries and ditch fuel expenses altogether. The motivation to drive efficiently will shoot up practically overnight. See how efficient (and how quickly) people will become when it directly affects their pockets each and every time they fuel the vehicle. You'll get people going down hills in high gear on the overrun because they'll have sussed out for themselves that next to stuff all fuel is being burned, taking the surplus weight out of the car, balancing the extra load of a/c against the drag from opening a window and so on and so on. People will find this out for themselves at no cost to the taxpayer when the benefit of doing so (or the consequences of failing to) affects them directly, especially in a recession when making money go further is a higher priority in most people's minds.

Longrider, yes I knew it as defensive driving too, but with so many idiots on the freeway who tailgate at 100 km/h because the Victorian police are more interested in speed than real danger "defensive" in my mind now means getting home in one piece.

Longrider said...

..."defensive" in my mind now means getting home in one piece.

It always did ;)