We are told, in in part I agree, that in an ideal world we wouldn't need cars. An integrated public transport network will get us from A to B quickly, cheaply and easily with the minimum of carbon output and everyone is happy. The problem is, this would never work for some people. Let me tell you why.
I have the flu. I've had it since Tuesday. I have to go out every other day to buy more paracetamol because if I but two packets at the same time I am told I can only buy one packet because the staff in Tesco think I am going to kill myself (apparently that's why you can no longer but 50 paracetamol in bottles like you used to be able to do), so I go every other day to get them. That's not a great problem as I can walk the several hundred metres to Tesco. however, on Thursday, in the snow, I had a problem. I was trembling cold with a fever, I was out of breath every few steps, and the only way I could face leaving the house was to get in my car and drive the few hundred metres. I know, I'm terrible, but physically, it was all I could manage to do.
But then I come to today. I needed to go to a chemist. The nearest one that was open was on the edge of Norwich. If I had wanted to get a bus I would have had to wait in the cold for 15 minutes (not good when you still have a fever), get on a busy bus, and infect god knows how many other people with my flu, cough and cold, then get off, then walk another mile in the cold to the chemist, then, I'd have to do it in reverse.
To be honest, it was arduous enough and too physically demanding really to do it in a car. I came home and had to go to sleep, such is my frail state at the moment, but it shows me very clearly why people who say "you don't need a car" are so wrong.
Sometimes, I need, and I mean, I REALLY NEED, my car. The last few days with both my wife and I both having the flu has shown just how reliant I am on it and shows that the vision of a car free society can never be achieved. A nice goal, but there are times when you cannot live with out a car.