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What’s it like in Bristol and other large cities?


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Living down in Portishead overlooking the channel, I have often felt that we had pretty fresh air here. But in the last few weeks I have definitely noticed a huge difference in the air quality, and as an an asthmatic it’s  been a revelation. 
So are you guys living in the larger conurbations noticing a difference too? Is it enough for you to consider how we should be “greening up” when we return to something akin to normality?

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10 hours ago, Port Said Red said:

Living down in Portishead overlooking the channel, I have often felt that we had pretty fresh air here. But in the last few weeks I have definitely noticed a huge difference in the air quality, and as an an asthmatic it’s  been a revelation. 
So are you guys living in the larger conurbations noticing a difference too? Is it enough for you to consider how we should be “greening up” when we return to something akin to normality?

I live in the sixth biggest city in France and what I have noticed most of all is the calm and the birdsong . ( noisy bastards ) . 
 

We should be more active in protecting our environment , when this planet is all used up we will have nowhere else to go. 

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It is reassuring to see how quickly air quality can recover from the filth we pump into the atmosphere. I think a lot of people are going to be saying that they quite like breathing clean air having now tried it. I believe and hope there will be a huge increase in home working (the chairman of Barclays said that they were looking at it yesterday) to decrease commuting/pollution which also saves money on having a huge office. There hasn`t been the will in the past from business to give it a go but this forced `experiment` has opened a lot of eyes to it.

Imagine Bristol at rush hour with even 30-40% less cars on the road - what`s not to like?

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I had to go to the office on Monday night and perhaps its not because I've been out of the house but it was noticable for the time of the year that the wildlife is roaming everywhere (dodged a few bunnies) but also the trees and hedgerows are a bright, dense, green.  Almost like mid summer.  I know we've had the sunniest April on record but you can't help think the fresher air has let it all thrive too. 

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21 minutes ago, Lanterne Rouge said:

It is reassuring to see how quickly air quality can recover from the filth we pump into the atmosphere. I think a lot of people are going to be saying that they quite like breathing clean air having now tried it. I believe and hope there will be a huge increase in home working (the chairman of Barclays said that they were looking at it yesterday) to decrease commuting/pollution which also saves money on having a huge office. There hasn`t been the will in the past from business to give it a go but this forced `experiment` has opened a lot of eyes to it.

Imagine Bristol at rush hour with even 30-40% less cars on the road - what`s not to like?

Defo the case. Cloud phone systems and the like, really what is the need for an office. One thing I guess it will provide is good balance of mental health by getting away from home.  We've discussed in our company that in theory we could half the the size of the office and alternate staff working at home one week and the next in office.

Only looser in this will be all those greedy commerical landlords. Oh well..   

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3 minutes ago, TomF said:

Defo the case. Cloud phone systems and the like, really what is the need for an office. One thing I guess it will provide is good balance of mental health by getting away from home.  We've discussed in our company that in theory we could half the the size of the office and alternate staff working at home one week and the next in office.

Only looser in this will be all those greedy commerical landlords. Oh well..   

One point that was made in the article I read was that there are a lot of cafes, coffee shops, sandwich bars and pubs that depend on lunchtime/after work business trade so they would suffer which is a valid one IMO.

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12 minutes ago, Lanterne Rouge said:

One point that was made in the article I read was that there are a lot of cafes, coffee shops, sandwich bars and pubs that depend on lunchtime/after work business trade so they would suffer which is a valid one IMO.

Actually that's a fair point. Although they may well reinvent themselves to do home deliveries much like they are at mo.  It would certainly potentially leave our centre rather desolate 

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22 minutes ago, Lanterne Rouge said:

One point that was made in the article I read was that there are a lot of cafes, coffee shops, sandwich bars and pubs that depend on lunchtime/after work business trade so they would suffer which is a valid one IMO.

I think people will realise the cost of this convenience too after eating at home for a few weeks. It’s so easy to grab a quick meal/ snack/drink on the move but the £££’s mount up. Yes you have to make the sandwich or boil the kettle yourself but you can feed yourself for a week with what you could spend in a day at work.

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6 minutes ago, RedM said:

I think people will realise the cost of this convenience too after eating at home for a few weeks. It’s so easy to grab a quick meal/ snack/drink on the move but the £££’s mount up. Yes you have to make the sandwich or boil the kettle yourself but you can feed yourself for a week with what you could spend in a day at work.

my bank balance has benefited  greatly from not going to the office, not only fuel and bus costs, but the nipping to the shop at lunchtime - in 6 weeks the money saved is noticeable

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1 hour ago, RedM said:

I think people will realise the cost of this convenience too after eating at home for a few weeks. It’s so easy to grab a quick meal/ snack/drink on the move but the £££’s mount up. Yes you have to make the sandwich or boil the kettle yourself but you can feed yourself for a week with what you could spend in a day at work.

 

1 hour ago, Ronnie Sinclair said:

my bank balance has benefited  greatly from not going to the office, not only fuel and bus costs, but the nipping to the shop at lunchtime - in 6 weeks the money saved is noticeable

Same here. Costa`s profits will be way down since I haven`t been able to use them!

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8 minutes ago, Lanterne Rouge said:

 

Same here. Costa`s profits will be way down since I haven`t been able to use them!

I suspect my savings from not going to the office will be offset by the increase in home bills for staying at home!

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54 minutes ago, Ronnie Sinclair said:

I suspect my savings from not going to the office will be offset by the increase in home bills for staying at home!

Going through a freezing cold winter and fully heating a house certainly would cut into any savings made, but not paying to travel to work would help. One of the positives of the timing is that at least we aren’t racking up fuel bills. 

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2 hours ago, RedM said:

Going through a freezing cold winter and fully heating a house certainly would cut into any savings made, but not paying to travel to work would help. One of the positives of the timing is that at least we aren’t racking up fuel bills. 

Your bar bill alone should be a massive saving . 
;)

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Hmm, this environmental awareness is all very well but Marvin's plan to ban all diesels from the city centre was knocked back by central government recently. His plan to bring down these NOx levels looks like it will not be given too much of a chance. Maybe the current situation will bring a few important people to a better understanding of what's actually going on. It's becoming a large-scale experiment that wasn't planned but the data is going to be worth a lot in the future. Will we value our fresh air more now?

Meanwhile, enjoy the cleaner air and the birdsong. I bet they are really wondering why they are suddenly singing a lot louder these days.

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13 hours ago, Major Isewater said:

I live in the sixth biggest city in France and what I have noticed most of all is the calm and the birdsong . ( noisy bastards ) . 
 

We should be more active in protecting our environment , when this planet is all used up we will have nowhere else to go. 

We listen to the Cuckoo in our garden every morning along with many others. Our door is kept open every morning (even when chilly) so we can hear the chorus.

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8 hours ago, RedM said:

I think people will realise the cost of this convenience too after eating at home for a few weeks. It’s so easy to grab a quick meal/ snack/drink on the move but the £££’s mount up. Yes you have to make the sandwich or boil the kettle yourself but you can feed yourself for a week with what you could spend in a day at work.

Really interesting you should say that - I’ve been thinking a lot about the amount of money i must waste every single week without really realising it, I’m beginning to wonder if i will pay £3-£4 again for a coffee or £4-£5 for a beer regularly again. 

 

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7 hours ago, Ronnie Sinclair said:

I suspect my savings from not going to the office will be offset by the increase in home bills for staying at home!

At the risk of quoting myself which is terribly conceited, I thought I was going to save even more money as our holiday to Cornwall at the end of May is now almost certainly off - however the missus has had other ideas and I will be spending the time (and the money) painting the outside of the house (can't get out of it if you can't go out of the house very much, all those odd jobs you put off with lame excuses are coming back to haunt big time!)

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6 hours ago, Rob k said:

Really interesting you should say that - I’ve been thinking a lot about the amount of money i must waste every single week without really realising it, I’m beginning to wonder if i will pay £3-£4 again for a coffee or £4-£5 for a beer regularly again. 

 

I was loaded at the end of last month, whereas I'm usually potless. I'm all for frugality now.

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18 hours ago, Lanterne Rouge said:

It is reassuring to see how quickly air quality can recover from the filth we pump into the atmosphere. I think a lot of people are going to be saying that they quite like breathing clean air having now tried it. I believe and hope there will be a huge increase in home working (the chairman of Barclays said that they were looking at it yesterday) to decrease commuting/pollution which also saves money on having a huge office. There hasn`t been the will in the past from business to give it a go but this forced `experiment` has opened a lot of eyes to it.

Imagine Bristol at rush hour with even 30-40% less cars on the road - what`s not to like?

I think there has been a trend towards this, although this current situation may speed it up. I am always surprised to see yet more office space being built when there are adverts for empty spaces everywhere.

16 hours ago, Ronnie Sinclair said:

I suspect my savings from not going to the office will be offset by the increase in home bills for staying at home!

If you are a registered home worker you can get tax breaks on your home expenses, but more importantly HMRC will accept a letter from your company on a temporary basis. I think its a set figure, but you might be able to claim more if you have evidence to show the difference in consumption. A smart meter would be useful.

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9 minutes ago, Port Said Red said:

If you are a registered home worker you can get tax breaks on your home expenses, but more importantly HMRC will accept a letter from your company on a temporary basis. I think its a set figure, but you might be able to claim more if you have evidence to show the difference in consumption. A smart meter would be useful.

That’s useful to know. I’ll copy and paste it and send it to my daughter.

She is working from home. 

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37 minutes ago, Port Said Red said:

I think there has been a trend towards this, although this current situation may speed it up. I am always surprised to see yet more office space being built when there are adverts for empty spaces everywhere.

If you are a registered home worker you can get tax breaks on your home expenses, but more importantly HMRC will accept a letter from your company on a temporary basis. I think its a set figure, but you might be able to claim more if you have evidence to show the difference in consumption. A smart meter would be useful.

 

Working at home

You may be able to claim tax relief for some of the bills you have to pay because you have to work at home on a regular basis. You cannot claim tax relief if you choose to work from home.

You can only claim for things to do with your work, for example, business telephone calls or the extra cost of gas and electricity for your work area.

You cannot claim for things that you use for both private and business use, for example, rent or broadband access.

From 6 April 2020 your employer can pay you up to £6 a week (£26 a month) to cover your additional costs if you have to work from home. For previous tax years the rate is £4 a week (£18 a month).

You will not need to keep any records.

 

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26 minutes ago, Robbored said:

That’s useful to know. I’ll copy and paste it and send it to my daughter.

She is working from home. 

The above is from the gov.uk website. Hardly worth it in less you really need the ‘up to’ £6 per week?

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2 minutes ago, RedM said:

The above is from the gov.uk website. Hardly worth it in less you really need the £6 per week?

£26 a month from your employer + the tax break is a bit more. They are separate things, it depends on whether your employer chooses to pay the allowance. But as I say, the current situation has meant the HMRC are stretching their definition of “regular”, I heard this mentioned on Monday in our company virtual updates (we are payroll providers).

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1 hour ago, RedM said:

The above is from the gov.uk website. Hardly worth it in less you really need the ‘up to’ £6 per week?

As it’s from the gov.uk website she’ll definitely  know already. 
It’s about £60 pm she reckons!

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An additional interesting side effect. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52509917

According to this ground movements have reduced and this has an affect on the "background noise". Presumably this is why people are hearing the sounds of nature more clearly. I do notice how loud the birds are now, but I have also become more aware of the hum from these bad boys when they are approaching and leaving Portbury dock, which I can see from my bedroom window.

 

IMG_0731.jpg

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