What if we didn’t have a car?

With many people giving up their cars, or at least trying to use public transport more, walking and cycling to places, how would it affect us if we were car-less?

  • Going shopping: we do most of our shopping at one of the cheap supermarkets, although we do go to another one for specific items. To get to either would be two buses – so four journeys, to get to both would involve three buses and six journeys. We could go to a different supermarket in town of course, giving up our preferences. We could also go into town to a greengrocer’s, a ‘health food’ shop, a bread shop and a butcher and then manage our shopping on the bus. For tinned and bottled goods there is a limited selection in our newspaper shop. Bookshops, chemists, and shops for other products are also in town.
  • We would not be able to do “big” shops as we couldn’t manage on public transport. We could order some items on line, of course
  • I would have to give up one of my writing groups as we meet in each other’s houses and some of my friends lives too far away or are not on a bus route.
  • My husband would have to give up playing the drums – you can’t get a drum kit on a bus, and many of the gigs are in other towns or out in the country – the band practice in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, not sure if there is even a bus service to it!
  • We could walk to our doctor’s, all depending on how ill we feel. We could also walk to the dentist’s, although last time I walked home I was absolutely soaked in an unexpected downpour. Just after Christmas I had to take the dog to the vet as an emergency – if I didn’t have a car it would have to be a taxi.
  • Visiting family would involve several trains journeys, from here to Bristol, from Bristol to London, across London by tube or bus, London to Cambridge, Cambridge to Ely and hope someone could meet us at the station! Visiting friends in the north, we’re able to be flexible with timing so we could get a direct train, but if not, changing at Bristol is not too difficult.
  • My daughter would be unable to get to work by public transport so would have to move house; the town where she works has very expensive housing and accommodation compared to here.
  • Collecting items from the post office sorting office as we did today – two buses!
  • Going on holiday – bus or taxi to coach or train station, then coach or train to destination. If we were going to visit our friends in the Netherlands, taxi to town, airport bus to the airport.
  • We would have to plan jaunts and trips; it’s more difficult to be spontaneous when reliant on public transport

I’m sure we would be affected in other ways too – when i say affected, I don’t necessarily mean that in a negative way, plenty of people don’t have cars and they manage, so I’m sure we would. I’m just pondering on how different our lives would be. I wonder what difference it would make financially; certainly having a car is an expense – and the emissions from it is an expense to the planet. At some point in the future we won’t have a car, either through choice or because we have to give up the one we have. Our lives will change, but we will be able to cope – apart from shifting the drum kit!


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