What we want? Action! When we want it? Now! You form a human chain and you go home, and you feel a bit better.
But we are still very far from changing people’s mindset. Even our own. One example to speak for all? There was a food-delivery company with a big promo in the beginning of this year. It was zero-emission, local, treated their cyclists with respect, and it was graduate-started. It was founded to be the complete opposite of the established food delivery company, whose drivers sit on Market Street in their cars with the engines on. That is perfect, you think, everybody will switch to the eco-friendly alternative now, right?
Fast forward four months. Yum-e, the local zero-emissions company, is slowly going bankrupt. Deliveroo changed the rules and prioritises cars even more, to the extent that cyclists can hardly earn their living. There are new car drivers, though. In a town of the size of St Andrews. Changing from one to the other requires the 1 minute that it takes to download the phone app.
And we still have not been able to make even this change. Tesco and Aldi are clad in plastic, and who cares? We buy it. They have no reason to stop selling it. The recycling bins, and indeed food recycling bins, in the halls are empty. In the town, there often aren’t any. And who cares? Are we the reformers fighting for the future, or the majority that does things the way they have always been done?
Take a walk through St Andrews. The sad truth will look at you from every corner. Look for the cars on Market Street. Ask the cyclists how it is going.
Ms Veronika Sedlakov