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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.

Mother2many Tue 30-Apr-13 00:46:18

Interesting... I know, our city buses stop running at 8:00 pm... start up at 6:00 am. So that would screw up alot of people...

Would be better to see more people car pool! SO many people travel alone...

TheSeventhHorcrux Mon 29-Apr-13 22:16:20

Firstly, stop comparing to London. Frankly put - if you drive in central London you are probably a wanker as public transport is clearly better.
Driving in Leicester is another matter.

Secondly, I'm put off giving up my car just by the self-righteous, holier than thou attitude of some non-car drivers on this thread. If you want to live your limited life without the luxury (yes, luxury) of a car then bully for you. But accept that it will be limited and you could be stuck in an emergency. Oh, and that it in no way makes you better than someone who chooses to drive.

In the end, there is such thing as free will. You cannot dictate who should and shouldn't drive. There are too many laws already.

Maybe try North Korea? They sound like they have the same views on controlling the masses.

(disclaimer: I'm in a foul mood, sorry)

LessMissAbs Sun 28-Apr-13 13:02:23

Perhaps on Sundays as a start. And buses. I hate buses.

dreamingofsun Sun 28-Apr-13 10:36:41

having read this thread again, i confess, that like many, I have jumped to the wrong conclusions. The poster is not saying we shouldn't use cars, we can use them as much as we like, just not in town centres. this is so her kids can cross roads more easily.

this would mean:

1. people in the suburbs would have their streets used as carparks by those working, living and shopping in the centres

2. my insurance premiums would go up, as the insurance company would argue its not as safe to park my car overnight in a street as it is in my drive or garage

3. people living in town centres would feel nervous walking home alone late at night from their cars and would be at a higher risk of getting mugged.

4. there would be a massive increase in demand for wheelbarrows (to cart things such as camping kit, shopping etc from cars to people's houses)

5. also a massive increase in cyclists in town centres as people would use them as a means to move from their cars on the outskirts to city centres. So the posters kids would need to be careful crossing junctions anyway

Freddiemisagreatshag Sat 27-Apr-13 21:16:19

Ah but. Think of the number of threads it would generate on here. "AIBU to think this journey should have been allowed" "I saw the woman's sister's cousin from across the street driving when she should have been walking"

Pigsmummy Sat 27-Apr-13 21:13:42

Nice idea but pure nonsense in practical/economic/evolution terms

Hulababy Sat 27-Apr-13 20:56:27

I live 5 miles from town.

The car takes me 15 min.

The bus, including walking to/from bus stops, waiting times, etc - 40 min.

Cycle - ages! It is VERY hilly in Sheffield. Way back would be an absolute killer as all uphill; not very practical. And a nightmare with heavy shopping bags!

Walk - well over an hour, and more! Can you imagine with children, a return trip - and with bags of shopping? Hmmm.

Hulababy Sat 27-Apr-13 20:53:14

I used to live IN the city centre. What would have been expected to do? Never drive to my own house?

I drive into town and park as it is cheaper for me to do so than get the bus - plus more than half the length of time taken than if on the bus. nd if doing a big shopping trip I don't want to lug loads of heavy bags about on public transport.

How far from the city centre are we talking about too?

LunaticFringe Sat 27-Apr-13 20:45:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Plomino Sat 27-Apr-13 20:38:08

Cars being banned is all very well if you have a 24 hour permanently running reliable transport system , because you have to account for the fact that not everyone works 9 - 5 hours . I work shifts . Like so many of my shift worker colleagues , I can't afford to live in London , so I live out in the counties . I finish work on a late turn at about 11pm . The last train home is 2215 . After that , the next option is to catch the trains up until 1am to Peterborough , which is about 50 miles from home , and get a cab . Except that for some shifts ,I now finish at 3 am . Which means without a car my only option is to sleep on a bench at Kings Cross till the first train at 5.45 . Not ideal when I have to be back for work at 3pm .

It's a nice idea , but one that assumes that every town and city is only used and worked in by those who live in it .

lljkk Sat 27-Apr-13 20:25:15

All you cyclists, are you insured if you hit a pedestrian?

We have something like that thru CTC.
Awful lot of motorists aren't insured, anyway. Okay it may be illegal, but doesn't stop a frightful lot of people from not bothering.

I wish OP's dream could come true. If only infrastructure was designed differently. Problem is so few ruddy professional jobs around here. We moved here because DH was working locally and I could commute (17 miles) on train & bike. But then my job finished & DH's company keeps moving around. He still cycled 35 miles/day down the main roads but that definitely wasn't for everyone, and we couldn't just move house (sell house) every time his employer shifted elsewhere, or in response to whatever job I got offered next.

China WAS your utopia, OP. But the modern planners have planned all the new cities on assumption that Car will be King & have redesigned the old cities in same way. They could have planned wide cycling boulevards in every city and just a few key access roads for private auto traffic, plus good public transport links. They decided not to do things like that. sad

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sat 27-Apr-13 16:41:31

I do live in a town. I work in the next city. The city even has a park and ride but I don't use it because it's shit. I also drive my dcs to school in my town. It's just over 2 miles, it is walkable (I could get a bus for about 1/4 of a mile of the journey) but I would have to walk an almost 5 mile round trip to come home and pick up my car to drive to work. I would also have to leave early and pay for breakfast club. Youngest dc in nursery cannot stay at school breakfast club so I would have to walk him a further 3/4 of a mile to the before school club. It would cost £13.50 a day for the extra childcare alone. This is in a town.

Freddiemisagreatshag Sat 27-Apr-13 13:49:29

I occasionally work in a town that is 20 minutes drive away. If I have to do an on-site meeting, I charge my client for my time. If I got the bus I'd have to get 2 buses and the journey would take just under two hours each way. I don't think I'd have a client very much longer.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 27-Apr-13 13:45:36

I think that you would be naive to think that achieving this would be about building cycle paths and improving public transport. My town centre is already pretty much dead in terms of daily shopping. Banning cars is not going to revive it.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Apr-13 13:40:37


I think that the point of the thread is that you would like to be able to dictate what people do.

Just because you don't think that a journey by car is unnecessary doesn't mean others think the same.

KobayashiMaru Sat 27-Apr-13 13:21:05

You seem to missing to point though that people may live in one town or city and work in another, and have other business in still others? So if I am allowed a car, but not allowed to drive into any town or city, how many bikes do I need precisely? I mean, if I am to bike around my own town with four children hanging off me, then collect my car somewhere on the outskirts, drive to the other town outskirts, presumably my 5 person bike comes with me, does it? OR do I have another one there? Or am I to use buses and trains with a double buggy and a load of shopping?

not really thought this through, have you?

DowntonTrout Sat 27-Apr-13 13:13:50

But read my posts vinegar whether you consider where I live in Yorksire as part of a town (it is) or not, my point is that in central London I don't need or use a car. It's great, I feel enlightened.

Still couldn't manage without a car at home though, and bearing in mind you have to drive through the town centre to get anywhere, what do you propose I do? If everywhere had great transport I suspect many would get rid of their cars. But considering London has these great transport links but it is still gridlocked just proves that even with the infrastructure in place, sometimes it's still not practical/ desirable all the time.

dreamingofsun Sat 27-Apr-13 13:01:50

i did read the thread and i do live in the middle of a town centre.

however, there is very little public transport, its very slow and doesn't go to many of the places we need to. a simple 40 minute journey by car would change into several different methods of non-car transport and an overnight stay.

ItsAFuckingVase Sat 27-Apr-13 13:01:23

I ordered 2 things online for delivery. They were delivered yesterday, when I was out. They're now at the sorting office, which is in the town centre. I can just about get there before closing after work if I drive. If I don't drive, it is physically impossible to get there. I can't rearrange delivery as there's every chance again that I won't be in.

I think it's great that you don't want to drive. I like people being able to exercise their freedom to make their own decisions. But I don't want mine taken away.

Also, there is no little high street where I live. If I want to go to the butchers, bakers etc I need to go into town.

VinegarDrinker Sat 27-Apr-13 12:55:35

The OP didn't say people who live in towns or cities shouldn't drive cars, though. She said people shouldn't drive cars in the centre of towns or cities. So all these posts about country lanes and 15 mile drives to the next town to work/volunteer etc are totally irrelevant to the OP.

Sirzy Sat 27-Apr-13 12:49:35

I live in a town though as do many people. Doesn't change the fact that the idea of the op is completly unworkable

teacher123 Sat 27-Apr-13 12:48:28

As long as you're not a person who doesn't have a car for principled reasons and then cadges lifts off people-that really does piss me off something chronic!

Fwiw I do agree that many town centres would benefit from improved infrastructure and regeneration, as traffic is ugly and polluting in cities. HOWEVER, until alternatives exist, I'm not going to even consider changing the way I get myself from A to B. When we lived in London my car would sit unused for a fortnight as I did everything on public transport. Here, it's impossible.

DowntonTrout Sat 27-Apr-13 12:47:53

Well I do live in a town. In Yorkshire. And have lived in this town for my whole life. It is actually a conurbation of small villages with a "town centre."

At the moment I am spending weekdays in London for a short period. I am amazed at the transport system, the ease of use, and how much money I save as opposed to running a car. My DD travels anywhere for free. It's fantastic.

My town, at home, just does not have this travel infrastructure. To get a bus to/from the centre is more expensive than a taxi if there are two of you. On top of that, buses aren't direct and taking a bus from my home to somewhere across town, meaning two or three buses could take four hours, bearing their infrequency, and maybe £20 if two of us. There are no trains nearby, either walking distance or on bus routes, except in the town centre.

Oh dear, on top of this it's a 4x4. Never mind that we were the only ones to get trough the roads with snow drifts higher than the car this winter. At least I'm greener the other 5 days a week.

VinegarDrinker Sat 27-Apr-13 12:40:58

Did anyone actually read the thread title? This is about towns and cities people.

(FWIW I currently cycle 6 miles to work, work 13 hour shifts then cycle home. I am 30 weeks pregnant. I don't think everyone else could or should do the same, but it certainly isn't impossible or even especially onerous tbh.)

dreamingofsun Sat 27-Apr-13 12:35:53

perhaps you could explain to me how my son and I are suppossed to get to his football fixture tomorrow which is 15 miles away down hilly roads with no public transport?

would you be prepared to cycle 10 miles to work down narrow country lanes at 5am, and do a 10 hour day and cycle back? And thats the nearest job.....the others involved a 90 min car journey.

inconvenience is not really the word.

though i do agree there should be less cars in i can drive mine more quickly.

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