I’ve got an old car and a wood burner – so my reputation’s going up in smoke | Tim Dowling


My Mini Mayfair is so old that it’s subject to the new emissions charge. I thought the stove was safe though. Some hope

Our old car has probably taken its last trip into central London. I haven’t driven it into the middle of town for two years, and that was before this week’s introduction of a £10 emissions charge for older vehicles, on top of the £11.50 congestion charge. £21.50 suddenly seems a lot to pay for the privilege of driving a 1980s Mini Mayfair in Mayfair. Maybe we should get rid of the car altogether, but it’s intermittently handy and weirdly reliable. And it’s old. It was already there.

I wish I could say the same for my wood stove, which is brand new. By the time I realised the mayor of London was also considering restrictions on wood stoves in the capital – which emit similar particulates to diesel cars, at higher rates – I’d already paid for half of it.

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