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four winter months since I sold my car - my findings.

At the start of November I sold my car. Although I am a named driver on Mark's car I committed to only using it for journeys that could not be done another way. I have an e bike and I use the busses locally and have made one long train journey to Edinburgh.

We are so lucky to live here, riding through the woods is a hell of a commute, I often see deer up close, occasionally glimpse a boar and definitely notice the spring bird song growing over the last few weeks. I have the o/s map app on my phone so I find all sorts of shortcuts along forest rides avoiding roads where I can. I log my rides on Love to Ride website so have kept track and can report that I have peddled 285 miles since November.

I know this is not a common experience but I actually quite like traveling by local bus, yes it is frustrating when they don't show up on time and I wish there were more. Local journeys can take a lot longer because you have to wait for the next bus but when the timing works in your favour then I wonder why everyone is not on the bus. The £2 bus fare cap is great for local journeys, making them a financially viable option. In effect there is a £7:50 cap on travel a day around the county so one day having appointments in both Cheltenham and Gloucester worked out far more cost effective than driving and parking. The £2 single fare cap has been extended till June, it really is cheaper to get the bus now, try it!

I have been keeping tabs on the Robin, the on demand minibus service and I am hopeful that it can become part of the solution to local transport but I think it needs to come of age. Relying on it to get to school and work may not be wise and there are not enough minibuses on the road to mean you can always book a ride when you need one.

The withdrawal of the 24 bus service has hit Blakeney and Soudley hard, it is a vital link into the rest of the bus network and between the villages, hamlets and Cinderford.

The other area that I have been looking into and found wanting is the fact that because I have not got my own car insurance policy I am unable to drive other cars third party. Why can't I buy car insurance if I don't have a car? I know there are people who would be very happy share/ lend cars if the insurance worked well.

I am looking forward to the summer, there are a few rides at night that I have not done that I will be confident about doing in the longer daylight hours.

Over all a big thumbs up to the experience and I will be continuing with it.

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1 Comment

Richard Burton
Richard Burton
Mar 01, 2023

As a life-long cyclist, getting rather long in the tooth, I invested in an ebike three years ago and it's the best thing ever. With a range of 30 miles, it will easily do most local trips, and the ride through the forest is sublime. By replacing car journeys it saves you money and you get fresh air and exercise as well.

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