My post below was not intended as a blanket statement that no-one needs, or should have, a car. What is driving me to the point of despair is the reality of life in this city.
We live in a small street – approximately fifteen minutes walk from the main station. There are buses to town that run every five minutes or so from either the top or the bottom of the hill on which we live. You can walk to a supermarket in ten minutes and there is a post office, chemist, doctor’s surgery and selection of corner shops within five minutes walk. There are five primary schools in walking distance and a bus that takes kids to the secondary schools. Yet, the street outside looks like this.
The road in the middle there is not wide enough for two cars to pass each other, so we often have horns blaring and little dances of cars to and fro until someone backs right up to the end of the street. If I have the misfortune to open my front door just as someone pulls away from the kerb outside I get gusts of exhaust fumes into my house. My kids have a tiny strip of pavement on which to play but that is usually impossible as they may touch a car and set off an alarm.
These streets were built in the 1860s, for ordinary working folk. No-one ever imagined that ordinary working folk would need one or two carriages per household! All those cars pootle about the streets of this congested city and then, when the sun shines, thousands more pour in. Then we get situations like the roads this bank holiday.
I know that many people like the 'freedom' of a car. It's just that I am feeling less and less free here...