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Hampshire fuel-wise family proves a car is not essential
For most people with young children, the idea of living without a car is almost inconceivable.
But as the Daily Echo continues its Don’t be a Fuel Fool campaign, one Southampton family has told us how they manage almost all their journeys on two wheels – saving thousands of pounds a year in petrol.
Lyn Brayshaw, her husband Andy Mackensie and their two children Lauren, ten, and Sam, 8, are convinced that a family car is not as necessary as many people think.
Lyn, from Oakmount Avenue, Highfield, said: “It’s really an environmental decision, but it’s the cost as well. I work one day a week, and my husband works four – so we effectively have one wage.
“When I look at the amount people spend on running two cars, I wonder why. We live in a city where there is fairly good transport and you can get around by bike.”
When Sam reached the age of one, the family decided to invest in a bike trailer and since then have got around almost entirely by pedal power alone.
Lyn said: “We used the bike trailer for years, with the two of them in it.
“Then we went on to where you fix a half bike on to the back of an adult bike. Now we’ve got two tandems, which are much cheaper than people think – ours were about £300.
“Lots of the places we go to are actually quicker by bike, because you can do things like cut across the Common.”
Sam has been riding a normal bike without stabilisers since the age of two, and the youngsters now cycle on most roads. Having grown up without a car, Lyn says her children are much more aware of road safety as a result.
She said: “Children who get in and out of cars to go everywhere have no awareness of the road, or how to get from A to B. Lauren and Sam are out there and aware of what’s going on around them.”
The family has vegetable and fruit boxes delivered weekly and go to the supermarket less than once a month to stock up.
The pair are also home-educated – but still cycle to at least one after-school activity a day.
Lyn added: “From a health point of view, the children are capable of cycling a long way, and it’s good for them.
“It’s completely unnatural for people to be stuck in these metal boxes all the time.
“It’s just a lifestyle choice, but it’s a positive lifestyle choice and there aren’t really disadvantages.”