Unnecessary car use


Posted by: Analog6

17th May 2011 07:40am

I'd like to hear people's views on how much unnecessary use of the car we all do each day. How many of us have local shops we can walk to these days - not too many I suspect.

The rise of the mega mall not only results in loss of community facilities, it means far more car emissions, as people have to drive to get there, and loss of our sense of community as we no longer know our neighbours. And it obviously doesn't do our health any good either to drive everywhere instead of walking.

Comments 19

  • 12th Oct 2014 09:35pm

We do not own a car in our household.
We walk (a lot healthier) to the supermarket in the next suburb or use public transport for longer journeys more than 3km away.

I also purchase some products from local strip shops in my suburb.

Anyone else do this?

  • 6th Oct 2012 07:01pm

i would love to be in walking distance to shops but living rural i have little choice, but to save a bit of car use i do plan out my trips and try to get all my shopping and messages done in a round trip. any trips to the city i prefer to drive to a bus exchange and catch a bus and walk to my appts

  • 1st Oct 2012 11:43am

Its not just the price of public transport but the availability of it too. Its roughly 5km from where i am living to the nearest bus stop and small shops. That bus i have to catch to get to the job centre or work experience the govnmnt is making me do now only comes 5 times a day. Twice in the morning, three times in the afternoon hours apart from each other and twice on Sat or Sun. I have been out of work for some time now because of it and they still after at least 4 years of me living here have not added any more buses or extra routes to get to those in more remote areas. Most job vacancies even say in their description that you must have your own car to get to and from work. I used to live in the suburbs so always got around on my bike or public transport. Simple fact is there are too many lazy people around who would drive to their mail box so they dont have to walk to it. Sounds crazy but ive seen it. I do think that a car would be helpful but govnmnts are basically expecting everyone to drive now days. They dont care if someone does not want to add to the polution levels. The other problem is big business like GM purposely buying patents to new inventions like those to make an electric car just so no one can build them and they keep their profits coming in. Its sad but true that the greed for money is making this world what it is becoming.

  • 27th Sep 2012 06:32pm

I live in Coomera on the other side of the train tracks. The closest Coles here is a gook few km's away. I'm not saying its not possible to walk there, but in this heat I'd rather drive a little than walk a long way.

  • 7th Mar 2012 08:53am

I try to walk whenever I can but having a newborn,a toddler and 3 other kids makes it difficult, especially when my toddler has a knack of running off. Sometimes we will carpool for their sports lessons and whenever I go shopping I plan my trip so I get everything done in the one go. If I do need to make an unexpected trip to the other end of town then I'll see what else I can do while in the area.

  • 18th Feb 2012 02:41pm

If there was better transport with eco friendly busses then there may be less use of the car to local shops However walking or using a bike is not so healthy as one is breathing in the car /bus/truck emmisions.

  • 3rd Feb 2012 09:48pm

we are pretty lucky in that we live in inner west sydney and are near two small but very adequate shopping centre that services all our needs. With a 5 year old and a baby in tow, we tend to walk whenever possible (which is nearly everyday, even in this misearble wet weather). We also prefer to use public transport (buses or the light rail) on the weekend. To further offset the impact, we are a one car family and we drive a hybrid. I think it is really important to be as kind to the environment as possible and set good examples and educate the next generation (ie recycle etc). Every little bit helps (we use cloth nappies, and recycle as much as we can as well).

  • 21st Jan 2012 04:24pm

I have a local shop about 1km away but it has very limited supplies. It is primarily a take away hot food shop. Our closest supermarket, Woolworths is approximately 5 kms away and it is just too far to walk with a fortnight's worth of shopping. It is because of the distances involved I have to drive. I do agree with others that the Government should dramatically reduce the cost of Public Transport as this would encourage commuters to leave their cars behind. The residents of the Northern Beaches and the North West only have Buses as their form of Public Transport. The people who commute to Sydney's Suburbs from the Central Coast have to use OVERCROWDED trains or drive their cars on the F3 Freeway. Unfortunately, if you don't work near a Railway Station it becomes very expensive to use the train and buses. It is a lot more comfortable driving your car and you do not have to wait for cancelled or late running trains.

  • 5th Jul 2011 02:57pm

I live in New Zealand and we are very lucky as we have cheaper fares for buses and trains. People here use public transport, now our motorways have bus lanes, and we can get to our jobs and shop in Auckland City. The motorway traffic is really huge between the morning hours of 6.30am - 9.00am and than in the evenings around 3.30pm - 6.30pm. A lot of people take their cars when the weather is wet and the working Mothers drop their children at Nurseries and Daycare Centres in the morning and then pick them up in the evening so they really need to use their cars..Most people catch the buses, trains and ferries to get to Auckland City. I am self employed and my work is on my doorstep practically so I occassionally catch the buses or trains just to sight see. We have a free bus in Auckland City itself so people do not have to walk so far. Soon I will take a Ferry to one of the Islands in the Gulf Harbour and back again. Our Harbour is very beautiful.

  • 4th Jul 2011 10:53am

Its hard when you live rural and work in town. There is no public transport in my area that can get me to work. Furthermore, I work shifts which don't suit usual public transport hours. If I could car pool I would. But no one in my area I know has similar shifts. With the cost of gas I would prefer public transport. Unfortunately this is not an option and I cannot find work similar to that I do in the area I live. I considered getting a motorcycle but my family decided it wouldn't be safe due to the trucks that frequent the road to work.

  • 23rd Jun 2011 09:14am

For me, it's a time issue. I'm self-employed and have four young children. I actually live within walking distance of a mall and I love to walk but simply don't have the time. Not to mention that walking or cycling long distances with small children is impossible because they can only walk so fast and so far. I had to give up pushing both of them in a stroller last year because it's too much weight uphill. And if it's too hot or it's raining then walking with 3 kids and a stroller is really not ideal.
Our local council has recently put on a free bus during the day (9-3) which loops around the main facilities: library, hospital and two shopping malls. It's a great initiative and I'd like to think it's keeping some cars off the road.

  • 5th Jul 2011 03:07pm
For me, it's a time issue. I'm self-employed and have four young children. I actually live within walking distance of a mall and I love to walk but simply don't have the time. Not to mention that...

Isildae, when I was younger I had 4 young children, it was so very hard to walk to most areas in Auckland (New Zealand) so I would catch the bus and the drivers would not even wait for me and my children to sit down besides having to put my monstrous English Pram on the front of the bus. Eventually I stopped catching the bus because my children were battered and bruised. Thank goodness today the bus drivers are more tolerant with all walks of life getting on their buses and when you have young children you really need to have a car. Its great that your local council has provided a free bus. In Auckland Inner City there is a free bus and its great as our older folk can shop in the City now and get to wherever they are going.

  • 17th Jun 2011 10:46pm

I have a Coles shop 10 minutes walk from my house (over a really big hill) but for grocery shopping I simply can't carry it all home! It really upsets me having to drive but I simply cannot do it. As for public transport, even with the student rate it is still far too expensive and time consuming compared to using the car. The government should lower the cost of public transport and as for local shops, if the neighbour hood won't support them by shopping there then they simply can't compete with the larger ones.

  • 17th Jun 2011 04:04pm

Nice to see some discussion. I'm semi rural too and so have to use the car. There is an hourly bus, but it os $6 to go 15kms and I have to walk 1 1/2 kms to catch it. Cycling and smaller cars and motorbikes (and scooters) are a good partial answer to this, they do use less fuel and have proportionally less emissions, so are more environment friendly.

We have already passed the 'peak fuel' point, we've used more than half of what our earth has available. What will we do if alternative fuels are NOT available by the time we run out of oil?

I'd love to have a local shop.

  • 17th Jun 2011 03:28pm

I live in a semi-rural area which is quite beautiful, but have to drive everywhere. We have a very small shop within walking distance, but it has very little in it, and mostly we buy only the papers and anything we need in an emergency. I have a large shopping list then I have no choice but to drive to a large shopping centre that is about 5km away. However, because I do a lot of gardening regularly, eat sensibly, and gave up smoking what feels like 100 years ago, my health is really good. Life is wonderful.

  • 17th Jun 2011 09:32am

totally ,the mega mall is killing our small businesses and therefore no small shops to walk to

Harley man
  • 16th Jun 2011 10:38am

I am one of those who drives where and when I need to go unless it is dry out then I go by motorbike. It was not the rise of mega malls that lead me to this it is just easier and with the new cars and fuels there are far less emmissions, even my Harley will now run on E10 and next year they will take E15. So I like the comfort and ease of being able to drive or ride everywhere even down to the local shops.

  • 1st Jun 2011 10:43am

I for one would love not to have to use my car...
but unfortunately the cost of public transport is definitely not affordable.
I do truly believe that if public transport was cheaper more people will take it, and not use their car.
It cost me $52 a week to travel to work each day. If I don't buy a weekly ticket I have to pay $15 you can almost rent a car for $15 a day.
I lived in Toronto for a few months and traveled around the city on any form of transport for $2.50 on way...I used to catch a bus pay $2.50 and then hop on the train and then on another train for only $2.50.
I think the government should take a good look reducing fares and making it more affordable to the general public - then perhaps most people would not use their cars.


  • 22nd May 2011 02:05pm

I agree. It's far too easy to get into your car and drive short distances and too many of us fall into that trap.
My main concerns are for the health of the indivivual and also the damage that is done to the environment with the increase in toxic gases adding to the already overloaded pollutants our planet is trying to overcome.
I would like to suggest that if walking is not an option get your bike out or buy one. Its a healthy option and will do far more for socialising than driving your car.
Thanks for raising this Analog6.

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