Friday 10 October 2008

Shopping without cars

One of the hardest things to cope with without cars is shopping for food, especially bulk food shopping. It's OK if you have time to walk to the local patisserie to get some pain au chocolate in the morning, but if you need a week's food you need to hit either a supermarket or one of the remaining high streets, buy your entire weekly load and head home. Without a car or a bike trailer, you are constrained by how much you can buy, so end up having to shop more often, which is pretty time consuming.

Here is some evidence of people who have embraced foot shopping.

This Sainsbury's trolley is in Cheltenham Place, Montpelier. The closes Sainsbury's supermarket is in Gloucester Road, across saint andrews, and about a mile away. Someone must have pushed it all this way, presumably full of food.

And here is another trolly, resting in the undergrowth near Lockleaze. A couple of miles from Sainbury's Filton site. So again: someone has pushed a trolley a long way, hopefully full of food. It may have just been pushed to UWE full of food -as a lot of students have been doing- and then "joyriders" took it from there, but it is still a sign of foot-out-trolly-home shopping.

The supermarkets don't like this, some people view it as unsightly. But why should supermarket trolleys be limited to the car park? That's a very car-centric world view. As part of our cycle-city, we should encourage people to walk to supermarkets and push trolleys full of food home. Why not have trolley return points at UWE and other parts of the city where students live, so as to aid them to live a car-free life?

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