The title is that of the headline in today's "getreading" local newspaper. The latter aptly refers not only to the assimilation of information by the process reading, but also to the town of Reading, across the River Thames from the village of Caversham where I live in south east England, where today one can read about Reading Council's efforts to run its local bus-fleet on biofuels. The article claims that council bosses are left with red faces because said buses were not, as proudly claimed, being run on bioethanol produced "from sugar beet from Norfolk", but rather from wood pulp imported from Sweden, which it must be admitted is rather further afield.
To compound the issue, the council has told the Reading Transport Board (who run Reading Buses) that the bioethanol fuelled buses will be switched to run on biodiesel in view of "the high price of the inefficient bio-ethanol fuel." The article continues to say that, "although bio-ethanol fuel is only 2.61% more expensive than bio-diesel, the bio-ethanol powered buses are a staggering 44.5% less fuel-efficient. This makes them twice as expensive to run than a bio-diesel bus."
"The bus fuel bill is expected to drop from £390,000 a year to £226,000 after the fuel conversion."
Transport spokesman and conservative councillor Richard Willis commented on his blog yesterday: "I suspect this won't exactly help Reading Transport's chances of winning an innovative award on 12 November for the introduction of bio-ethanol buses."
Which is a shame if they have simply been misinformed, "but by whom?", is the question being robustly asked by all political sides.
"The not-so sweet truth of sugar fuel," By Linda Fort, Chief Reporter: getreading.co.uk.