You wheely should try it

This Is Wiltshire: Stuart, Lorna and daughter Eve Hislop cycle everywhere and have never owned a car Stuart, Lorna and daughter Eve Hislop cycle everywhere and have never owned a car

In this day and age not owning a car is a rarity but for Devizes couple Stuart and Lorna Hislop it is all they have known.

The couple have cycled all their lives and neither can drive.

While most people would find it a tough lifestyle choice, for the Hislops cycling has always been the way to go.

Mrs Hislop, 46, who works at Devizes Pre-school, said: “Everything we need is here in Devizes. “We don’t need to travel miles, taking our business out of town. “We simply cycle everywhere, which means that we keep our shopping trips to Devizes and pretty much everything else too.

“Back in the late ’80s when we became involved with Friends of the Earth we saw what was happening to the world with climate change – overloading of our traffic system and habitat destruction from bypass construction and road building. These all dominated the news. “More cars and decreasing air quality meant that we needed to practise what we preach.”

Mr Hislop, a former nurse at Roundway Hospital in Devizes and now a full time volunteer at Drews Pond Wood, cycles every day. The couple have a ten-year-old daughter, Eve, who also cycles, including on a tandem.

Mr Hislop, 56, is often called upon at the school gates to help other parents with bike repairs.

The couple say they manage to carry their shopping in panniers. When going on holiday or visiting their family they travel on trains or buses and occasionally accept lifts and take taxis.

Mrs Hislop said: “I think people are quite surprised when we tell them we haven’t got a car and probably wonder how we manage. “Having not had one we tend to know where we can and can’t go on public transport. We don’t feel we miss out – it’s not a hardship.”

As for the wet and cold weather, Mrs Hislop said: “We have got waterproofs. “It doesn’t bother us too much. We are used to it.” One of the problems with cycling in Devizes, she said, was that there were not enough bike racks in the centre of the town.

The couple will be at Cycle Devizes! – an event at which a transport guide showing bus and cycle rides will be launched.

The free event is on October 6 in the Market Place from 11am-3pm and will also include a town trail to show a new cycle route under consultation, stunts and shows and bikes to try.

For more details, log on to www.cycledevizes.org.uk

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