I’ve now been living without a car for more than ten years. People say — “Oh, but you’re lucky, you don’t need one … but it wouldn’t work for us.”
None of these circumstances is entirely the result of birth, good fortune, or happy accident: I made a deliberate choice of where to live and work, bearing all these factors in mind. I appreciate that not everyone has the same freedom of choice, and that the situation is more complicated for a large family, but most of the people who tell me they couldn’t possibly do without a car are colleagues in very similar circumstances to my own, but who have chosen to live in a remote suburb where they can’t get to work, school or shops without driving. They could just as well have chosen to live here.
Dormitory suburbs without adequate bus routes; supermarkets and office parks in the middle of nowhere; schools with logjams of 4×4s outside — these are all things that exist because you choose to accept your dependence on the car.