I must be mad

My brother-in-law lives just round the corner from us. Which is nice. He and my wife hatched this cunning plan a month or so ago.

“Let’s go running at 6.30am every morning!” they said. “We’re both morning people. It’ll be great!”

I hate mornings.

Then they said, “Why don’t you come with us? It will help support us in this tremendous endeavour.”

I hate mornings.

But I agreed.

So it all works quite well for a couple of weeks. Occasionally, one of them will bail for some reason or the other, but we’re all doing quite well, thank you.

Then there’s a patch when almost everyone – except me – bails.

So they get together. “I can’t take mornings,” says my wife. “It’s so hard getting up early. How about we run in the evenings?”

That works fine for a day. “I can’t take evenings,” says my brother-in-law. “I get too tired during the day. I prefer mornings.”

So they agree. Sarah will run in the evenings, my brother-in-law will run in the mornings.

Guess what I’ll be doing, in addition to going to the gym three times a week.

Yes, I’m running in both the mornings and the evenings.

I must be mad.

First Direct and some green fudge

Ooh. First Direct claims to be the first direct banking operation to go carbon neutral. Good on them.

Some of the stats seem a little interesting though:

“Conscious of the impact 3400 people have getting to and from work, three years ago it introduced the Green Travel Plan which includes:

  • a car sharing database
  • shuttle bus between Leeds Train Station and Stourton
  • subsidised travel cards to encourage more people to use the buses and trains.
  • The initiative has led to 150 fewer cars being brought to work each day and a staggering 98% increase in the number of people using public transport.”

So the number of people using public transport has doubled, but of 3,400 people, only 150 fewer cars are being used?

Obviously, it’s a bit tricky with that shuttle bus option added, since we don’t know if that counts as public transport. But if there are 150 fewer cars being used, with say a generous 1.5 people per car, that means there are 225 fewer people travelling by cars. If they all go by public transport, that means that there were already 225 people (98% or so) going by public transport, taking the total up to… 450 people out of 3,400. If half went by shuttle bus instead of car or bus and the shuttle bus doesn’t count as public transport, then there’ll only be 225 travelling by public transport. And so on.

So by the looks of it, we have nearly 3,000 out of the 3,400 employees going by some form of transport that isn’t publicly owned. Car-sharing, shuttle buses, etc are good things, but that’s still an awful lot of people not using public transport. And the figures don’t say how many employees First Direct has now, rather than three years ago.

I could ring up and ask, but as always, I’m feeling a bit lazy.