Car-free life by Brendan - written 25/02/2009 09:13:51
18 months ago, our Volvo gave up the ghost a mile after we'd left our campsite in France. Once we had scrambled our way back to London, we decided to give up the ghost and go car free. I'm not evangelical about it. I realise that some people are emotionally attached to car ownership and let's face it if you've got a load of children who all need to be in different and distant places throughout the week, it's tempting to conclude that a car is your best friend. However, for us the decision was right and we've not regretted it for a minute. I now cycle to and from work, so I'm fitter and slimmer. I never drove our car to work, but after we got rid I got a bike and just fell in love with two wheels. My son gets the bus everywhere and my wife also uses public transport (and her bike for local runs). We haven't ditched the car altogether though. We use a car club for a few hours each month and use the journey to pop into a supermarket. Often we don't bother and use the panniers on the bike to get the shopping home. So we are all a bit fitter and we're also a bit richer - yes financially and yes, somehow, spiritually. It's a nice feeling, to be honest, knowing your carbon footprint has shrunk. I'm not trying to be smug. It's just the way it is. If you are organised, get a bike, use a car club occasionally, it is amazing how quickly you realise that not owning a car is a relief.

Brendan, Lewisham.