Builder sleeps in van at workplace to save diesel money

A builder has taken to sleeping in his van outside his workplace because he cannot afford the daily drive.

Dennis Stapleton lives in Doddington, Cambridgeshire, but most of his work is a three-hour round trip away in Essex.

He said: "It used to cost me £20 a day to drive there and back. Now it's gone up to around £35 so to save money I sleep in the van four nights a week."

Mr Stapleton said the cost of diesel made it too expensive to drive to work and he was now saving £150 per week.

Instability in the Middle East and North Africa has put pressure on the price of oil, and the increased cost has been reflected in a higher price for refined products such as petrol and diesel.

A 1p cut in fuel duty took effect on 23 March. However, for Mr Stapleton that is not enough.

"I just wish fuel would come down," he said. "At the moment I've got to find a means to survive."

'Nice and dry'

He does that by spending the week in the back of his van, which he has customised by building a platform for a single mattress.

Mr Stapleton has also installed a skylight and added a layer of roofing felt across the top of his sleeping bag.

"There's a lot of condensation in here and I was getting a bit wet at night, so the felt keeps me, and everything else, nice and dry," he explained.

Without cooking or washing facilities, he has to eat in supermarket cafes and takes showers at service stations.

However, Mr Stapleton insisted that he was not at all uncomfortable.

"It gets a bit cold at night," he said. "But I'm saving around £600 every month and you can't argue with that, can you?"

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