Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Carfree in Brighton: Dani Ahrens
My post about the costs and hassle of car owning compared with rail travel a while back got picked up by War On The Motorist and a few others (hat tips all round). Coincidentally, there was a great article in the Argus a few days later by Dani Ahrens about living in Brighton as a carfree family. Dani then wrote a letter to the Argus setting out the difference between “wanting” a car and “needing” a car, a distinction that seems to elude many people. I don’t know Dani, but I liked the fact that her article reminded me of the Sussex equivalent of a Gallic Shrug – as in, what’s the big deal about not owning a car? It doesn’t have to be some kind of crusade. Sometimes, it’s just about weighing up the costs and benefits of car owning so as to make a more rational choice. What’s amazing is not that there are people like Dani, but that there aren’t more people like her: people willing to take a more rational approach to car ownership. People prepared to think about the costs, think about the benefits, and then weigh up the balance. Not forgetting that crucial distinction between a need and a want.