This month our columnist MARTIN DOREY is making the case for leaving your car at home – or at least at the campsite – this Easter, and embark on an Easter cycle.

How do we feel about cars these days? Are we over them? Or are we still slaves to them? I am in two minds. You might say I am in transition. I drive a campervan with all mod cons and have driven it all over the UK and Europe, both for work and leisure. But, as time goes on I realise that if we are to live on a healthy planet, I might have to make some changes to my lifestyle and transport options. That means driving less.

Here on the coast, in Bude, it’s almost impossible to live without a vehicle, even though we are trying. I cycle or ride my (sunshine-powered) e-moped to my office most days (when it’s not lashing with rain) and, as the weather improves, I shall use it more. I have a surfboard rack so I can make local, low carbon surf trips too. It means avoiding parking fees, congestion and the hassle of driving on busy summer streets. That feels good.

It’s very different though, when we try to go anywhere else. And I suspect it’s much the same for many people who live on the coast. Our railways were lost in the 1960s to the ill-considered axe of Dr Beeching and bus services are either irregular or impractical.

There is good news: the branch line from Exeter to Okehampton reopened in 2021, which was a real boon. However it still falls 28 miles ­– and an hour’s bus ride – short of us.

Sadly, this lack of public transport infrastructure makes it very difficult for people to take car-free holidays, even though the best thing about Bude – and many other places on the coast – is that everything is within walking distance. Once you are here it is perfectly possible to walk or cycle everywhere.

So here’s a plea. Think about what it would mean to towns like Bude if you ditched the car once you got here. The place would be even nicer and our traffic jams, that begin now and clog us up until September, would fade away.

We get that you need a car to get here because rail travel is stupidly expensive and difficult, but once here, the beach is RIGHT THERE!!! Can you imagine? No more grumbles about traffic. No parking fees. Healthier people. Less pressure on the NHS. Safer streets for cyclists. Less pollution. Less congestion. Less stress. And all because you walked to the beach, shops, pub and restaurant from your campsite or holiday accommodation. Brilliant!

If you are going to learn to live without a car then somewhere like Bude could be the place to do it. You don’t have to be anywhere in a hurry. You can take in some clean ocean air and put some yards under those feet. You might even get fitter with an Easter cycle. Imagine having the time and inclination to dawdle? That’s the stuff of holiday dreams.

As they say, here in Cornwall, ‘let’s do it dreckly!’

Read Martin Dorey’s most recent feature here.