Life without a car in Salisbury: A family affair
Back in September, Connecting Wiltshire and leading transport charity Sustrans, ran the Connecting Wiltshire Travel Challenge which saw 460 people across the county sign up and between them, replace over 2,500 car journeys.
One of the things we asked people to do was to send in their stories about how they were travelling to work. We got some really brilliant responses but the one that stood out was from Danusia in Salisbury. She explained how her and her family don’t have a car so they plan all their journeys around walking and public transport.
Her story so inspired us that not only did she win the story competition and a Kindle, we also decided to take a trip down to Salisbury to meet Danusia, her 9-year old daughter Coral and their Lurcher Flo on their walk home from school one afternoon.
Wildlife walk from school
We arranged to meet at the entrance to the school, where Danusia let us know we wouldn’t be walking the direct 20 minute route back to their house.
“We always walk a longer route home after school – anywhere between two and eight miles,” explained Danusia. “It means we can give Flo a good walk as she’s normally been inside since my husband and I leave for work in the morning. Plus it gives me and Coral the chance to spend quality time together. I teach her what I can about the nature we see and also explain it’s the perfect way to de-stress after a hard day at school and work.”
“We see so many beautiful sights on our walks such as buzzards, butterflies, beetles, birds, horses, flowers and trees that we soon don’t notice how far we’ve walked. And it keeps us fit and healthy!”
On our two mile walk from Harnham, through the fields up to Salisbury Cathedral and back the other side, we experienced this too; we saw a flock of flying geese, herons, swans and incredibly a pair of kingfishers! All right in the heart of Salisbury.
Travelling to work
As a hospital worker, Danusia often has to work shifts and unsociable hours. Although a car sometimes seems like it would be a more convenient option to travel to work, the reality is it’s often easier not having one.
“The car parking at the hospital can be terrible. So when I arrive after a 25 minute walk or a ten minute bus ride, I’m relieved I don’t have to worry about that. I’m sure many people can’t really understand why we don’t drive or have a car – I like to think this is because we’re ahead of the game and fashionable.”
“At the moment our lifestyle is as green as we can be and I hope our daughter grows up understanding the importance of this.”
Danusia’s story is a brilliant example of how with a little planning and creative thinking, travelling without a car doesn’t need to be a chore. In fact you may just find it easier and more enjoyable.
Take a look at the Connecting Wiltshire website to find out more about cycling, walking and using public transport to travel around the county.