News that people are driving slowly.

The BBC News today had a report that people are using their cars less, driving slower and generally being conservative with their fuel. Fair enough, but have they ever been to Surrey? Our street has perhaps 100 houses; we have two Range Rovers, two Land Rovers, a JEEP, one guy had a Ferrari 355, and there's a few Porsches. This is not by Surrey standards a rich area; indeed for Surrey we are officially deprived. In the bottom 10% for income. So what's the rest of Surrey like?

None of these cars are fuel efficient. Our V8 Range Rover neighbour figures on a run he can get into the low teens for fuel economy. Yet these people will happily drive to somewhere far away, like the newsagents or the post box at the end of the street, on a daily basis. Really, they use their cars like you or I use our legs. I was opening the curtains one day, and more-or-less as I started our neighbour drove off. By the time I'd finished and was leaving the room he'd come back. Even my boy, who is 5, called the neighbour lazy. He must have been gone two minutes at most.

But such short journeys are madly common. We see people driving to the town centre; it is 600m away. They come back with a newspaper or bottle of milk. One Range Rover person drives to the gym one mile away. What's the point of that? An eighth of a gallon just to keep fit? Madness.We have neighbours that drive to the tennis club. It is 600m away. They all moan about how hard it is to keep fit. No, wrong. You're fat because you are a lazy git that's why. Try walking for once.

It's got to the stage where most people here think that the next town is a fair old journey away. It is a mile. When we had the snow some people got into a panic over collecting their children. Er, the school is less than a mile away, yet most got into their cars and spend the next four hours stuck. Some of them didn't actually know how the route if they did walk. When my daughter was 2 we got her a wooden training bike. One day we went to a party at a friends' house, so she rode her bike there. No kidding, when we arrived the hostess absolutely refused to believe that we'd walked. It was also a mile.

At work we have a few people who collect people from the station to prevent them from having a long walk. No kidding, the station is 30m away. I was asked once by a colleague if I could give her a lift as she had no car that day and had to go to sign a form. OK said I, assuming it was miles away. We drove across the road. 5m. I could see things on my desk from the shop.

Sorry, but sitting here I can't see anybody using their cars less. We do; I'll not drive weekends now, and I never drive to the shops. Not hard carrying two bags of shopping home is it? And as for driving to the end of the street and back....

To my mind fuel in the tank is like money in the bank. Would you, Dear Reader, go to the bank, remove £10 them set fire to it? Yet that is what many people are doing in using their cars for such ridiculous and pointless journeys.

Now I'm not some eco-warrior on a mission. Indeed I'm not really "eco" at all. Sure I recycle and all that, but more out of guilt at what I waste than any save the planet ideology. And I guess this is my point; we just waste so much stuff without a second thought as to why. I'm sure that the people who get into their cars and drive a few metres, when asked, would probably deny that they do such silly journeys. People exist in some kind of fug, where they have no regard or thought to a lot of their actions. It's all innocent enough I'm sure, but I do find it amusing that people complain that they have no money, or are putting on weight, or that traffic was awful, when they are essentially just hugely lazy and a touch inconsiderate.

Next time you drive to the shops, just ask yourself why.