The truth is, if I had a vehicle, I would drive it everywhere. I know this because between attending university and 2018 – a total of 22 years – I always had my own car. I absolutely love driving! So much so I used to dream of the freedom it would give me long before I was 17 and now I even have an HGV licence. However, when my Vauxhall Astra 1.9 CDTi Design (with a very nippy 150 bhp) gave up the ghost four years ago, I didn’t really have the disposable income to replace it – so I learned to adapt without.
At the time I lived about 20 minutes away from where I work and there, I could pick up a pool vehicle for any business travel. I’ve since moved much closer to work which is even more handy. For everywhere else I walk, catch a bus, hop on a train, or if I’m lucky, someone will give me a lift. A very dear friend of mine also popped me on her insurance so if I’m really stuck and she doesn’t need it, I can borrow her car.
So for me it happened quite by accident and while I can’t say whether I would have ever made the decision consciously, I’m definitely in no rush to get another car on the road.
We don’t necessarily need to get rid of the car altogether though. Just committing to leaving the car for a regular journey once a week can make all the difference. You’d be:
- Doing your bit for the environment
- Getting your steps in
- Saving money on fuel
- Preventing wear and tear on your vehicle
- Avoiding the time and cost to park
- Able to read a book or get a head start on emails
- Able to have some 121 time with a colleague or friend if travelling together
- Able to stop and enjoy a glass of wine or pint on your way home.
I know you’ll think of others. How often do we wish we weren’t sat in traffic, don’t recall the last 30 minutes of our journey or just wish we could have some time to ourselves doing precious little before we get to work or back home to chores?
What do you think? If just for one day a week, are you ready to ditch the car?
Christine Sharma is Road Safety & Partnerships Manager for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue.