7 Reasons to Leave Your Car at Home
It’s World Car-Free Day today. And to celebrate, here are seven reasons to leave your car at home.
1. It’s Healthier. Rather than driving to work, and getting stressed and aggravated at the wheel of a car on the way, you can cycle instead. It’s much better for you, and you won’t just be sitting there, impotently experiencing road rage, so you’ll feel really good and be a lot healthier as a result. Well, until you get run over by a minicab and offered a fight by a disproportionately cross man in a white pick-up truck, that is. But that doesn’t happen every day. Some days it’s a blue one.
2. There Are Buses Available. In order to reduce the traffic on the road and free it up to make more room for areas that are coned-off for no apparent reason, you can take the bus to work. Because it’s always fun to ride in a vehicle in which the driver treats the accelerator as an on/off button, and in which anyone sitting on the upper deck is likely to experience motion sickness from the swaying as it rounds corners at improbable speeds. Not to mention the persistent nagging doubt that the bus will topple over. That’s where the real terror lies. Still, fear of death is life-affirming, so you’ll feel better as a result.
3. The Environment. Cars produce a lot of pollution*, and anyone that’s ever walked along the pavement next to a queue of traffic in the morning will be able to testify to the amount of noise-pollution that they emit. From the teenagers in the Vauxhall Corsa playing neurofunk at stomach-churning levels to the grey-faced businessmen listening to BBC Radio 4 at such a volume that, though you try not to listen, you can actually feel the shipping forecast reverberating through your skeleton as you walk past, traffic is intrusively noisy. But don’t panic. Though you may feel faint through sheer boredom on hearing the shipping forecast, it won’t actually kill you. Unless you concentrate on it quite hard.
4. The Train. You may be able to get the train to work. This will help you gain a new perspective on time and, as you realise that time, in fact, does not exist, and is just a series of made up numbers wholly unrelated to maths or the concept of measurement, you’ll relax and eventually come to enjoy starting your working day at lunchtime. Or 08:57, as First Capital Connect call it.
5. Parking Vouchers. Because you’ve paid for that parking permit, damn it. And every minute that your car is parked on the street outside your house you’re getting value for money. And eventually, if your car is parked outside your house for long enough, you’ll begin to turn a profit. Surely?
6. The Tube. Perhaps you live near an underground railway. And there’s no experience like getting together with a few thousand other people in a tin can and all trying not to look at each other (or at each other’s reflections in the window, that’s an amateur mistake). Ever wanted to know what you’d smell like if you didn’t bathe for a week? Go and stand next to a fat man in a cheap suit on a tube train. Then go home and shower. For a long time.
7. Because It’s A Good Idea. It’s actually a good idea to leave your car at home occasionally. Even if it turns out that the car is the most effective mode of transport for you, you’ll at least have explored the alternatives available. And if it isn’t, then you’ll have learned something valuable. Like discovering that bananas are easier to eat than apples, or that you enjoy eating gorgonzola more that you enjoy eating paté, or that kiwis give you more energy than a Mars bar. Or that you’re much hungrier than you thought you were.