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Subject   (reply to 3213)
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>> No. 3213 Anonymous
21st March 2015
Saturday 3:17 pm
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Do you think owning a car is essential in modern Britain?
Expand all images.
>> No. 3214 Anonymous
21st March 2015
Saturday 3:35 pm
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No. There are backward places out in the sticks where you'd struggle, but you did say modern Britain so Yorkshire doesn't count.
>> No. 3215 Anonymous
21st March 2015
Saturday 3:56 pm
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No, although I know a lot of people would argue otherwise.

It's mostly about your region. Live too far from a built up area and yes, a car is essential. I live in a small city with a fair system of public transport. Most places I want to go, and all places I need to go, are connected along one or two well serviced routes.

I don't like that having a car is essential in so many places. They symbolise a lot of what I don't like about modern living. They're expensive to run, are used as status symbols, encourage selfish behaviour by sealing you from your surroundings, contribute to environmental damage, and rely on direct use of a fuel that sustains a lot of bad global politics.

I have a friend who began driving at 17, and has owned his own car since 18. To him, a life without driving is unimaginable. It represents his freedom. I remember him telling me that the question of whether you want to drive depends on "how much your time is worth to you". I won't lie, public transport will always take longer, but I find the time in my day to work, study and socialise with no problem with a but of discipline and planning. I have never felt that I'm missing out due to not owning a car, but I have had to plan around it as my life has become more busy (not always successfully, but I have everything I could want right now).

By contrast, that same friend uses his sense of freedom and that saved time to live what isn't a very productive life. Six years on, it's as though driving is one of the few things that makes him feel connected to society. I don't say this from spite, but I bring up his example to make the point that given you have reasonable access to public transport, driving is a convenience more than a necessity.

The way I see it, driving will save you some time from your journeys and will simplify them to some degree. It won't grant you the things that are important to your life, but it may make them slightly easier to pursue if you are prepared to take what driving entails over buses and trains.
>> No. 3216 Anonymous
21st March 2015
Saturday 4:07 pm
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You can get by without 'owning' one, but independent living will nearly always access to a car or other vehicle, in my opinion. I got on OK with public transport and a bike as a yoof and a student, but when I got a company car with my first job, it's hard to live without it. I just love being able to say 'fuck it' and go where I like without having to stop and think about train tickets, times, the tedium of waiting around on platforms or anything. It's great. And obviously you get to move around masses of men and materiel with you.

It's at the point where I'll only have the one beer out with the boys because I love being able to jump in the car and drive home with the heating and radio 4 on.
>> No. 3217 Anonymous
21st March 2015
Saturday 6:56 pm
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Not in a city, or even a big town. I haven't owned a car in years, and I'm definitely better off. It's faster to cycle to work, or even grab essential groceries. If I want to get a big shop, or a large item, then home delivery or an Uber is still cheaper than running a car. If I need to get further afield, a train is fine, or I can rent a car on the rare occasion I have to.

Obviously, this isn't the case for everyone. Not everyone lives two miles from their workplace, not everyone can cycle daily like I do, not everyone is a young bloke with no kids. But there's certainly a lot of people running cars that simply don't need them, and it's costing them thousands and making them fatter.
>> No. 3218 Anonymous
21st March 2015
Saturday 8:03 pm
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Pretty much in complete agreement. Uber (I despise the company but love the service), zipcar/zipvan etc. more than make for owning a car for me and even work out cheaper than maintaining my own. I live in London, though, which is pretty well connected by all manner of car alternatives and once you get towards central is no fun to drive in anyway. The last motorized vehicle I owned was a bike which didn't get replace when it was, inevitably, stolen. Great fun though it was, it added little practicality over and above a push bike which is my main mode of transport now.

I cycle to work (it's under 10m and there are showers at work, so no big deal), I'm childless and any shop I regularly need is at most 3m away. Should I ever have children I still can't see myself getting a car; there are plenty of options to ferry them around on my bike while they can't cycle themselves and once old enough they can bleddy well make their own way. That's me talking big while it's hypothetical, of course. If and when I have my own sprogs I might take another critical look at the existing bike infrastructure and change my mind in that regard.

I'd summarize it as: owning a car is not essential but having access to one greatly improves life.
>> No. 3219 Anonymous
21st March 2015
Saturday 8:06 pm
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It depends on circumstances as others have said.

When I was on my gap year I managed to find a flat near enough to my place of work to walk. However it did mean I became a big burden on my family to move me there and back again.

When I was a student it was fine, when I did 6 months working as part of my Masters it was a 5 mile commute which was perfectly fine for me to walk or cycle.

However now that I'm working at a business park in the middle of nowhere choices become much more limited. I live as close as I can (excluding tiny villages), but when it gets close to a ten mile commute that just starts to become more than I can comfortably cycle twice a day 5 days a week. I still drive as little as possible, I often walk to the shops or combine it into my commute. I do feel guilty about driving to see my parents regularly, but it's a choice between a 40 minute drive or a 2 and a half hour train ride.

At the end of the day we are not anyway near abolishing any need for cars. But the majority of car owners could take a much greater responsibility for how they use them. Perhaps the number of miles driven in Britain each year could be halved if people made some lifestyle changes. There are plenty of people who own cars for the convenience or as status symbols, who are mainly just driving distances they could walk in 30 minutes. As well as that there are many people like some who I work with, who drive over a hundred miles on the motorway every single day rather than move closer.
>> No. 3220 Anonymous
21st March 2015
Saturday 8:23 pm
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>I'd summarize it as: owning a car is not essential but having access to one greatly improves life.

That's exactly it. I still have the means to get access to a car any time day or night - if I could only afford the bus I might be taking a different stance.
>> No. 3221 Anonymous
21st March 2015
Saturday 8:27 pm
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I don't think a slim-jim and hotwire counts as "access to a car" m8.
>> No. 3222 Anonymous
21st March 2015
Saturday 8:37 pm
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After I sell the twoc'd cars I can use the cash for taxis. You don't know nuthink bruv.
>> No. 3223 Anonymous
21st March 2015
Saturday 10:28 pm
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Modern Britain does indeed have car rental facilities, car clubs, car pooling services, etc. If I wanted to I could get a licence and drive around almost as easily and much more cheaply as if I owned a car.
>> No. 3224 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 12:12 am
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Modern Britain is full of cunt ended tit-rifles
>> No. 3225 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 8:44 am
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After taking a 3 year break from driving and using trains, buses and my bike, I can wholeheartedly say I am overjoyed with getting my car back.

As someone else said, a car means Independence, now I don't have to rely on others.. I'm tired of smelly/weird people on the bus and tired of cancelled/late trains.
>> No. 3226 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 3:42 pm
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This thread reminds me, I need to pass my test.

I am nearly 30 years old, embarrassing I know
>> No. 3227 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 4:00 pm
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Passed my test 8 years ago, haven't driven once since passing. It's not all it's made out to be.
>> No. 3228 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 5:59 pm
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Failed my test back in 2010, me and my driving examiner (who was in the car with me when I did it) thought it was very unfair. 1 Major fault for hesitation.
At that time I was putting all my spare cash into the lessons and the exam, so to say I was annoyed when I failed was an understatement. I packed it in shortly after

I regard it as a blessing in disguise though as I tend to cycle everywhere and I am very fit though, I also think about all the extra cash I have that I would've been puttin to running a car if I had passed my test. (I've been told driving becomes sort of a lazy habit with most people once they pass their test, they suddenly can't live without a car, you seem to be an exception)
>> No. 3229 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 6:06 pm
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>me and my driving examiner

I mean "me and my driving instructor" *
>> No. 3230 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 6:22 pm
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Considering how expensive public transport is, a car is very, very important. I can run my car per month on what it used to cost me per week using public transport.
>> No. 3231 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 8:08 pm
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No, you mean "my driving instructor and I".
>> No. 3232 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 8:10 pm
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Really? HMRC allowances for car travel 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles per year, which tallies fairly closely with the AA figures on average ownership costs. Motoring tends to look disproportionately cheap because so many costs are hidden, the most important being depreciation. Across the whole rail network, the average cost is 20p per mile. Of course some heavily congested commuter routes will be substantially more expensive by rail, but many others work out cheaper when you factor in the total cost of motoring.
>> No. 3233 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 8:11 pm
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Also buses are cheap everywhere, and cycling is practically free if you ride a sensible commuter bike rather than some carbon fibre frippery.
>> No. 3234 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 8:16 pm
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>Also buses are cheap everywhere

It costs £1.50 to get on a bus in London. I remember when it used to cost me like 20p or some shit. Fucking hell.

As one of the companycarlads I didn't have to think hard before owning a car, I'd have a long think before buying my own though.
>> No. 3235 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 8:29 pm
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>It costs £1.50 to get on a bus in London.
Dirt cheap. Whereas where I used to live it costs £2.50 to go less than two miles into town. Anywhere outside of the inner suburbs and the day ticket (£4.50) is given in lieu of a return. Compare that to where I live now, where £3.50 gives you the run of a decent-sized city with reasonably frequent services.
>> No. 3236 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 8:34 pm
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>Also buses are cheap everywhere

Where I am it's about a fiver for a return to a town 4 miles away, so over a quid a mile. Still cheaper than a taxi or something, but hardly what I'd call 'cheap'.

Rail is fine if you are on the same line as your destination, but it can get pretty expensive if you have to make multiple changes. Compared to a car where you can drive most places by a more direct route and get straight to where you need without a connecting bus/taxi at the other end.
>> No. 3237 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 8:41 pm
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Plus, being in a car is just fucking great. You've got your radio, your heating and your personal space is measured in cubic metres.
>> No. 3238 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 8:59 pm
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Oh god crumbs! Crumbs everywhere!

I've had nightmare about being trapped in a car with someone, and I'm trying to escape, but I can't because the locks have been jammed up by all the crumbs.
>> No. 3239 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 9:17 pm
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>but it can get pretty expensive if you have to make multiple changes
Depends on who's setting the fares. In any reasonable urban setting, the fares are probably zonal. If you're really lucky, the zone boundaries will be reasonable too. (See e.g. Shoreditch, where the rebuilt station was moved into Zone 1 for financial reasons.)
>> No. 3240 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 10:07 pm
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True for London and maybe some other cities but not in general. For any transport discussion, distinctions must be made between what works in London and what works everywhere else.
>> No. 3241 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 10:31 pm
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I hate cleaning my car. I like it clean but it doesn't feel like my car anymore.
>> No. 3242 Anonymous
22nd March 2015
Sunday 10:58 pm
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No, it's true everywhere on the rail network, and has been for over half a century. The fare from A to B depends on a lot of things, but the number of times you have to change trains is not one of them (a tiny handful of exceptions of TOCs being cunts aside, obviously).
>> No. 3243 Anonymous
23rd March 2015
Monday 9:45 pm
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Driving is stressful and expensive, if I didn't have to for work reasons, I wouldn't drive at all.
>> No. 3244 Anonymous
24th March 2015
Tuesday 5:51 pm
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http://split.traintimes.org.uk/ is worth checking for any decently sized rail journey, there are usually savings to be had in buying split tickets.
>> No. 3245 Anonymous
24th March 2015
Tuesday 6:55 pm
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You don't have to change trains to split tickets, though usually the train has to stop there. But that same fare applies whether you stay on the train or change at your split point. There may be different fares for alternative routes but it's a stretch to suggest that "depends on how many times you change ". There are a couple of exceptions - for instance there are trains non-stop from Cambridge to London, and to stop people using them to cut journey times to stations to the south there's a rule saying that passengers cannot travel via Cambridge which means anyone going from one stop south to one stop west needs two tickets, but that's by far the exception rather than the rule.
>> No. 3247 Anonymous
29th March 2015
Sunday 4:44 pm
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The problem, especially in the cities and towns is that there are TOO MANY cars on the road, in my opinion.
In this country we seem to have an American attitude to cars and driving but tend to forget that we live on an island that is nowhere near as sparse as the USA. To add, many of the roads in towns and cities weren't designed to have the amount of traffic on the roads that we have nowadays.

I'd like to see investment go into public transport making it affordable and regular, but one can only dream, I don't see it happening in the future. Our current government is very car centric and much of our economy seems to be built on car ownership.
>> No. 3248 Anonymous
29th March 2015
Sunday 5:52 pm
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I would sell my car in a heartbeat if public transport wasn't so damn expensive.
>> No. 3249 Anonymous
29th March 2015
Sunday 9:34 pm
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>for instance there are trains non-stop from Cambridge to London

Are there? When? Cambridgelad.
>> No. 3250 Anonymous
29th March 2015
Sunday 9:47 pm
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Quarter past and quarter to, in both directions.
>> No. 3251 Anonymous
29th March 2015
Sunday 10:56 pm
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Pretty sure they're express and still stop at three or four stops.
>> No. 3252 Anonymous
29th March 2015
Sunday 11:29 pm
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>> No. 3253 Anonymous
29th March 2015
Sunday 11:31 pm
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... and back again.

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