Peter Vosper: It’s time to start planning for the future again
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Although the brakes are on at the moment and we still have to survive the winter, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
The news concerning a vaccine is very positive and there is a real chance some key workers will get it by the end of the year. The rest of us will have to wait but it seems likely we will all be able to benefit before the end of 2021.
I have been so impressed the way people in general have tackled and dealt with the difficulties we have all had living through a lockdown, particularly those who have had to make massive changes to their everyday lives.
In the first lockdown we had some good weather which allowed us to go out for a walk, or for those with a garden to make good use of it, but winter will be more challenging.
The first two weekends of lockdown have seen many families out enjoying our wonderful coastline or countryside in spite of some heavy rain.
It seems we are making the effort and dressing appropriately, just getting on with it.
Surely, this appreciation and pleasure of our country is one of many changes which will stay with us in the new world.
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There are many beautiful parts of the UK and the staycation will likely feature as part of our holiday plans in the next few years.
Many have taken up new hobbies and found ways to relax and exercise to help both the mind and the body keep fit and healthy.
We have also missed not seeing friends and family as often as we would have liked and this too will change as solutions to the virus become available and the family car will continue to allow freedom of movement.
However, more pressure will be put on manufacturers to cut emissions and produce more electric powered vehicles as the expected Government announcement arrives, bringing the date to end petrol and diesel engine powered cars forward to 2030.
As volumes increase prices will be more competitive, but beware the Chancellor looking to replace the lost revenue from road fund tax and as a result the benefit of cheaper running costs from electric vehicles will come only from servicing.
Due to lack of capital for infrastructure investment, most of our goods will continue to be delivered by road, and changes will be made to clean up heavy commercial vehicles, with electric powered vans delivering to cities and the homes within them.
Work practices, which have meant many employees working from home, will continue to adapt and flexibility will increase.
Travel to work will therefore be reduced and with the growth of online sales more businesses will relocate from the big cities.
People are more than ever talking about quality of life and adjusting their plans for the future.
The South West will grow as a result and not everyone living here will see this as a benefit, but we have the space and properly controlled this can add wealth and other benefits to the region.
So start reviving your dreams and plans for your time to come – it will certainly be different but hopefully, better in many ways.
Stay safe, keep smiling, and please join me next week.