to think cars should be banned from towns and cities

(144 Posts)
chrome100 Fri 26-Apr-13 19:55:36

I don't own a car, mainly because I am too poor but also because I don't really need one and get around from A-B either on foot (short distances), cycling (medium distances), or bus/train (long distance). I am not a lentil-weaving hippy by any means but I really dislike the way that the dominance of the car has influenced our towns and cities - children can't play out, we are always waiting at junctions and traffic lights, running and walking necessitate several lengthy pauses to cross busy roads etc etc.

Why can't we create some kind of system whereby cars must be left on the outskirts of a city and everyone wanting to move around inside it has to walk/cycle/use the bus? I know this is hugely unrealistic and expensive but the impact this would have on our daily lives would be immense. The general environment would be so much more pleasant, we'd be to roam (ok, maybe I am a bit lentil weaver grin )

I know some people are disabled etc and allowances could be made for that but the vast majority of car journeys within a city (I think) could be avoided if people gave themselves more time to get to where they were going.

I'd love to live in a town town with no traffic, to cycle along with no cars and not have to fight dangerous junctions as a pedestrian.

VinegarDrinker Fri 26-Apr-13 20:36:58

thereonthestair exemptions for the disabled have already been mentioned upthread.

If I ruled the world I would be giving all parents Bakfietsen though - free disability adaptations if necessary bakfiets.nl/nl/

MTSgroupie Fri 26-Apr-13 20:37:47

It takes me 90 min to drive to my parents.

It takes me 5 hours to catch a bus to the station, train to Euston, Euston to x and then bus to their house.

I think that I will stick with my car.

StanleyLambchop Fri 26-Apr-13 20:38:40

The vast majority of car journeys within a city (I think) could be avoided if people gave themselves more time to get to where they were going.

And if you cannot drop your child off at school any earlier than 8.30, then have to be in work, the other side of the city by 9.00pm? Or if you live in the city centre and work miles away? What about the elderly? My parents do not qualify for a disabled badge but they still can't actually walk very far, so going anywhere really is impossible without a car. I think there are too many variances to make this a realistic plan.

VinegarDrinker Fri 26-Apr-13 20:42:17

MTS that's exactly the kind of situation that would be ideal for joining a car club imho, assuming you don't do the journey on a daily basis.

BackforGood Fri 26-Apr-13 20:42:20

Yup. YABU
and ridiculous
and clearly got no idea of how my life works

StanleyLambchop Fri 26-Apr-13 20:42:53

Public transport is also aimed at the able bodied. Again, my parents could not manage to walk to & from bus stops. So better buses is not the solution for everyone.

JollyPurpleGiant Fri 26-Apr-13 20:43:28

Commuting by public transport would cost me £19.50 per day. And would take 3 hours a day. Commuting by car takes 1.5 hours.

An online calculator tells me the journey costs me £8.12 in fuel if I drive. Obviously other vehicle costs would have to be added in to the calculation in order for the costs to be accurately compared.

VinegarDrinker Fri 26-Apr-13 20:45:05

Stanley in general the elderly are more time rich than others, so free services like Dial-a-Ride can work really well.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Fri 26-Apr-13 20:45:10

I think I would have to cycle as I wouldn't want to mix with common smelly people on public transport grin

Sirzy Fri 26-Apr-13 20:48:37

Lovely idea if places actually had something resembling decent public transport.

I live in a reasonable sized town but the public transport is frankly horrendous with the nearest train station being 15 minutes drive away (or over an hour on the bus) - that train goes to 2 locations only! I will do that when I need to go to Liverpool but anywhere else it is much easier to drive.

MTSgroupie Fri 26-Apr-13 20:49:34

Vinegar - actually when I lived in London that was exactly what I did. However, I live in the burbs now and catching a bus with my weekly Sainsburys shopping and trailing kids isn't a workable situation smile

In my defence I don't drive a petrol guzzling SUV.

VinegarDrinker Fri 26-Apr-13 20:50:31

Online shopping!

<car free bore icon>

CloudsAndTrees Fri 26-Apr-13 20:53:15

It might make your life more pleasant, but I can assure you that having to use buses would make my life much more unpleasant. I like being able to park in town. I like that I can shop and then drop my bags in my car then go back for more. And it's quicker.

StanleyLambchop Fri 26-Apr-13 20:56:07

So Vinegar- would car-club cars be exempt from these car free cities then? Surely a car is a car, just because it is owned by a car club does not mean it will not block up busy junctions, stop our children from being able to play out, etc etc .

VinegarDrinker Fri 26-Apr-13 21:00:51

Stanley the car club suggestion was in response to a poster wanting to drive out of town, not in to town.

Although actually yes they do massively reduce the isdues around car use, partly because they discourage "flippant" car use and partly just because of the logistics - 50 or more people share one car, so 50 x less cars on the road, needing parking space etc.

tallulah Fri 26-Apr-13 21:01:05

YABVU. Where we used to live they pedestrianised the town centre. Delivery drivers were allowed through, as were taxis, and cars with Blue Badges. It was more dangerous than when there was a steady stream of cars through, because firstly you didn't expect to see a car and secondly the vehicles that were allowed through drove as if they were on a normal road.

You've obviously never suffered health problems either. I had to go to a hospital right in the city centre for chemotherapy. There was a shuttle bus to parking in the shopping centre but the last thing you want after 4 hours of chemo is to be on a bus surrounded by sick people. Perhaps I should have cycled there hmm

What is this crap about children playing out too? That's what gardens are for.

thereonthestair Fri 26-Apr-13 21:02:48

I am actually quite anti car. I don't need one much. I don't use it much. Backfielts doesn't actually work for a child, a walker and wheelchair. Maybe if I was fitter! It also doesn't always work when I am pushed for time. So I go back to pay more taxes have better public transport, make the choice cost and time neutral then persuade people to ditch their cars some of the time.

StanleyLambchop Fri 26-Apr-13 21:06:46

Stanley the car club suggestion was in response to a poster wanting to drive out of town, not in to town.

But you don't know that the parents house was not in the centre of another town, so they might have to drive in/through that town to get to their parents house.

VinegarDrinker Fri 26-Apr-13 21:08:01

Yes indeed, your suggestions are far more sensible! I think measures such as the congestion charge should be balanced with incentives for walking/cycling where possible, purely because of the positive effects on the environment and the rest of society.

StanleyLambchop Fri 26-Apr-13 21:11:40

Thereonthestair, the problem with persuading people to ditch their cars some of the time is that they are expensive to insure, tax, fuel and maintain. Most people accept the costs in exchange for the convenience. If we were encouraged to use public transport for some of the time, it would not maake it cost effective to run the car and pay the bus fares at the same time. Only one or the other really works.

imour Fri 26-Apr-13 21:21:22

who would choose to pay a bloody fortune to be squashed on public transport with slow old people , shopping trolleys,buggies,kids,smelly fat sweaty people, urgh no thanks ill nip to town in my car smile

thereonthestair Fri 26-Apr-13 21:22:29

Stanley. I completely disagree. I do a real mixture, my main method of transport is bike. But this week I have been on foot, in a car, on trains, on buses. The choice is always convenience based, but it does have to be better to go by public transport because it is not yet cost neutral in this country. However if you don't drive much fuel doesn't cost much. And I have to maintain a bike as much if not more than my car. It really is a lifestyle choice. My car is an expensive luxury. I don't really need it (that much - apart from for ds and related needs ) and as such I accept that I pay for the convenience. It would actually cost more to use it more so I choose not to. That's what I mean about incentives. I pay to park in my city centre area, it's part of the cost of where I live, and I'm lucky to have the choice. I accept that I should pay because I believe we should all pay for the congestion. But I am not lucky to have a disabled child who cannot walk or cycle. And for his sake you cannot ban cars. I would like there to be fewer about though, especially if it takes a disproportionate amount of time for me to drive him when others do have choices his disability has taken away from me. When I am already spending hours extra a day doing things others take for granted.

VinegarDrinker Fri 26-Apr-13 21:27:17

Re maintenance costs etc, may I bring up Car clubs again

<broken record icon>

BarredfromhavingStella Fri 26-Apr-13 21:28:59

Fuck off, just fuck off-right to the other side of fuck.

StanleyLambchop Fri 26-Apr-13 21:36:30

But insurance/tax costs of a car are the same however much you use it. Once I have paid those costs I want to get my money's worth, not have to shell out again in bus fares to somewhere I could easily drive to. As for car clubs, can I once again bring up convenience. Sharing one car beteen fifty other people means you won't always be able to have use of it when you want. Presumably it is not free either, so some casts are payable. And what do you do once you have driven it to the place of return? Get the bus home sad

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