Letter: Carless rapture

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I gave up owning a car four years ago. I would like to inform Heon Stevenson (letter, 24 April) that I am not a bachelor with a quiet settled life and few out-of-London social contacts but a middle-aged mother with four teenage children, a very busy working and social life and many out-of-London friends.

I and my children manage perfectly well. We travel on public transport, use taxis - for which I rarely pay more than pounds 3 or pounds 4 a ride - and I no longer have the stress of traffic jams and parking in London. When I go out I can drink without worrying, and I do not have to ensure that I have change for parking meters every time I leave the house.

When I go to the supermarket I get a taxi home for little more than the cost of the car park, the taxi driver loads my shopping into the cab, unloads it and delivers it to my front door, and I am home in less time than it used to take me to collect my car from the multi-storey car park.

I have discovered public transport routes that I didn't know existed. I have found that most shops will deliver large items for nothing or for a nominal fee.

If I visit friends out of London who are inaccessible by public transport, I hire a car at a cost of pounds 30 for a day or pounds 60 for a weekend.

Getting rid of my car has saved me an enormous amount of hassle, stress and money. I wish I could persuade more car owners in London to do the same.

BRIDGET SHIELD

London SE18

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