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BusinessCar Office Blog: 12 June 2009 - Up yours, mpg

Date: 12 June 2009   |   Author: Tony Rock

BusinessCar Office, yesterday

Let me tell you - it's very tempting to stick two fingers up to the planet (and to my editor) when you find yourself having to negotiate central London right at the height of the tube strike.

Allow me to explain.

Editor Young has been conducting several fuel economy runs in our long-term Volvo XC60. But as his commute is largely motorway-only, he has asked me to try some fuel-friendly urban driving, in order to compare the figures.

So I'm obliging - for the moment. You see, it's one thing setting cruise control for a steady, relatively traffic-free 60mph saunter into the BusinessCar office at 7am, with the aircon off because you can open the windows to allow the cool morning air to chill the cabin; and it's quite another to be trapped for 30 minutes in central London's Stand Underpass, in some Bob Crowe-induced evening rush hour nightmare, becoming increasingly warmer in a sealed hot-box because you're terrified of choking on the gathering cloud of particulates, as happened to me the other day.

As I sat there, getting later and later for my evening appointment, and resisting all temptation to revert to my city driver mode and zoom into every dinky toy-sized opening that presented itself (but giving in and turning on the stereo - oh, kiss my backside, mpg), I also wondered whether it was more environmentally friendly driving my like my great aunt and being stopped by every traffic light, pumping out fumes, than it was accelerating through anticipated ambers in order to keep the wheels turning.

Answers on the back of a tortoise to.