Attempting to be a Sustainable Commuter…

By Alex Edwards

One could say my conscience smote me. While there were people climbing bridges over motorways in England, I was driving about in my car. 

Be the change you want to see in the world is often attributed to Ghandi, so I decided to put his words into action and reduce my own oil consumption.

Running to and from work, would be nearly a marathon, so it was not on the cards. It also would require using a pedestrian bridge over a motorway – something news outlets seemed to consider courageous and brave.

Cycling? Imagine the stink of my sweat by the time 5pm was reached…

So down to the train I drove (It’s about 5 miles and winding rural roads in the dark aren’t fun to walk, so I’ll allow myself the pass).

Going into work had been OK. The usual double train with six carriages had been replaced with one half the size, so had involved standing swaying from side to side, and launching into other “standers” as if attempting to create a domino effect. It hadn’t been great, but it was passable, an acceptable method of transport.

Arriving at work I hung up my coat and fell into the swing of things, reacting to slack messages and hammering out long replies to emails. When the clock struck 5, I rushed out again, excited to take on part two of my train adventure.

With the school children already all home, the ride home was much more quiet, almost relaxing. 

With the trains arrival back in my hometown, I lightly jogged across town to where I had parked.

With the car in sight, I put my hand in my pocket to a dreadful surprise. The keys were no-where to be found. It was at that moment that I realised that my coat was still tidily hung up in the foyer at work, and the keys were cosily nestled in its pocket.

I considered the walk, but with no torch and a spot of rain starting, the idea was not appealing. A trip back to work was also on the cards, but as a placement student I didn’t have a key. A tentative pull on the handle confirmed that the car was indeed locked. There was only one option.

Swallowing my pride, I pulled out my phone and called my Mum.


Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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