Car v public transport.

Old Aug 11th 2019, 12:02 pm
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Default Car v public transport.

I don't think I'm ready to give up the car just yet, but it's certainly crossed my mind. Having recently driven from the south coast up to Cheshire and back, six hours each way, I can honestly say the pleasure of driving was absolute, ZERO, the stress factor, on the other hand, was almost off the charts. yes, it was slightly cheaper, for two people, than public transport and the main benefit was mobility once I had reached my destination but weighing that up against overall costs of running a vehicle and the stress of driving I'm debating whether, certainly in the near future, it's time to switch to public transport. Here on the island the public transport is excellent and links to London and Gatwick are also good. With the rise and convenience of online shopping one doesn't have to worry about lugging huge backs of shopping onto public transport or taxis.
Not quite at bus pass age just yet, but getting close, perhaps when the time comes I'll make the decision.
Thoughts.
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Old Aug 11th 2019, 1:40 pm
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Default Re: Car v public transport.

In 2011 we rented a house for 7 months in the small market town (pop. 7,000) we grew to love while living here in the early 80’s and we deliberately had no car to see how it would be. We had retired a year earlier and were looking forward to a time where driving might be a problem and we would need to rely on public transport and taxis. It was a great experience and 6 years later we bought a house here after moving back from the USA. Where we live is a half mile from the town center including 2 doctors’ surgeries and a small hospital. We have several supermarkets in town plus lots of other shops and cafes and a great bus service. The train stations are also either a bus ride or a taxi ride away. We have the N York Moors National Park immediately to our south and a 10 minute walk from our house gets us into woodland and a further 30 minutes onto the Moors, although it is steep climb with an ascent of over 700’.

We sometimes choose to use the buses now but within 2 years we will both have free bus passes so expect to utilize them quite a bit. We don’t like lots of driving, particularly in cities so we have senior discount rail passes. A couple of months ago it was a taxi ride to the mainline station and then a train direct to Plymouth, change to Penzance then next day over to the Scilly Isles. Two weeks later, on a Saturday we got the train direct from Penzance to our local mainline station and taxi home.

Last edited by durham_lad; Aug 11th 2019 at 1:42 pm.
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Old Aug 13th 2019, 8:27 am
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Default Re: Car v public transport.

I actually really like the National Express coaches/buses for city to city long distance destinations. It usually works out much cheaper than taking the train (especially if going Nat Express to London Victoria coach station, although the airports are generally more expensive). I’ve never liked the idea of paying for a rental car which will then be stuck for a few days in an expensive car park when I could have gone to the same place (eg. Bath, Oxford, London) by coach.

www.nationalexpress.com

There are discount annual coach cards which can be purchased too, although I understand that people aged 60+ already get a small discount without a coach card.

The ‘Megabus’ also serves primarily university cities, although my elderly mother has used it from Coventry to Portsmouth, connecting with the ferry to the Isle of Wight. It was much cheaper than National Express and the trains for the dates she was travelling.

www.megabus.com
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Old Aug 13th 2019, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Car v public transport.

Cars have become the dominant species on Planet Terra. Now is the time to fight back ! Liberate yourselves. Say "NO" to these Fordian monsters that are destroying the environment !
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Old Aug 13th 2019, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: Car v public transport.

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Cars have become the dominant species on Planet Terra. Now is the time to fight back ! Liberate yourselves. Say "NO" to these Fordian monsters that are destroying the environment !
All very noble and worthwhile Scot, but not everyone can manage without a car.
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Old Aug 14th 2019, 4:29 am
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Default Re: Car v public transport.

Do not let these monsters dominate your lives !
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Old Aug 14th 2019, 5:18 am
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Default Re: Car v public transport.

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Do not let these monsters dominate your lives !
you do have a flair for the dramatic!

If you can give me some alternatives for the following times when I used my car over the past few weeks I'd be very pleased
Hospital appointments for someone in a wheelchair - on public transport that would involve two buses which aren't accessible for wheelchairs, plus a train journey, plus a long walk.
Taking a sick dog to a vet 4km away - public transport here doesn't allow pets, only service animals
Taking my frail aged mum just about anywhere, she can only walk for about 10 metres
Getting from my house to Perth International Airport, with no public transport available to get there

There are many other occasions when it's necessary to use a car. Not everyone lives in a location with public transport within walking/cycling distance, nor can everyone's transport needs be met by public transport, walking or cycling.



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Old Aug 14th 2019, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: Car v public transport.

Agreed, some people do need a car, and, Spouse of Scouse, your list gives many valid reasons for having one. However we've been living without one in the UK for a while now...we can walk to both the train station and the bus station, each is about 12 minutes' walk, and from there, many transport options. We can walk (again, about 12 minutes) to two different shopping areas, one a town centre, the other a street of smaller shops, but anything one needs is available at both. Very close by, beautiful parks.

We used to rent a car to go to places which were harder to reach via public transport, but our personal circs currently mean this isn't an option...we can change that (it means a driving test) or just carry on as we are. For us, the main drawback of not having a car is that you can't spontaneously jump into it and go for a pub lunch in the country, for example.

Mostly, we are managing fine without one, and almost every single day we do some walking, which helps us stay active....

Your mileage (this common phrase is especially apt here!) may vary.
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Old Aug 15th 2019, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: Car v public transport.

We aren't in the UK at present, but considering a move back there in 4-5 years. The first thing my Brit husband asked is could he bring his car (a Mustang). I think we've both become so used to having our own vehicles that going back to one (or none) would feel really strange. I like the idea of getting an electric vehicle for short drives, but I think I might like to drive longer distances to see relatives and sightseeing trips.

I suppose you'd really just have to sit down and list the costs of car ownership vs. relying on public transportation and see how they compare. We lived in London for nine years and I didn't have a car then, mostly because I was too scared to learn to drive in the UK on London streets, lol! I definitely would have liked having a car back then (because public transportation, prams, and your weekly shopping are a terrible combination, lol!)
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Old Aug 16th 2019, 3:10 am
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Default Re: Car v public transport.

Originally Posted by between two worlds View Post
Agreed, some people do need a car, and, Spouse of Scouse, your list gives many valid reasons for having one. However we've been living without one in the UK for a while now...we can walk to both the train station and the bus station, each is about 12 minutes' walk, and from there, many transport options. We can walk (again, about 12 minutes) to two different shopping areas, one a town centre, the other a street of smaller shops, but anything one needs is available at both. Very close by, beautiful parks.

We used to rent a car to go to places which were harder to reach via public transport, but our personal circs currently mean this isn't an option...we can change that (it means a driving test) or just carry on as we are. For us, the main drawback of not having a car is that you can't spontaneously jump into it and go for a pub lunch in the country, for example.

Mostly, we are managing fine without one, and almost every single day we do some walking, which helps us stay active....

Your mileage (this common phrase is especially apt here!) may vary.
One of the many things I loved about living in the UK was not needing a car. Walking and public transport got us to nearly everywhere we needed to go, and not only public transport but also taxis allowed pets so vet trips weren't a problem. None of that applies to where I live in Australia, unfortunately
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Old Aug 16th 2019, 3:48 am
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Default Re: Car v public transport.

I chose my retirement home largely because I can live here without a motor car. Less tress and less expenditure on Fordist devices !
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Old Aug 16th 2019, 9:39 am
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Default Re: Car v public transport.

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
I chose my retirement home largely because I can live here without a motor car.
Same with us. We decided that we didn't want to move again if we didn't have to so we are in a place that has very good access to shops, doctors, hospitals through either walking, buses or taxis plus the house is well suited for living when we are not so mobile. (Downstairs bedroom and bathroom etc)
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