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21 March, 2005

Big School's out

I knew that school holidays reduce the volume of rush-hour traffic through there being no 'school run', but I hadn't really appreciated that University vacations have a similar effect.  Today is the first working day of the vacation*, and traffic was particularly light this evening.  It could have been a coincidence, I suppose, but there were less cars parked on campus, too.

The issue of undergrads bringing cars to University at all is something for a different posting...

*: not an oxymoron - 'vacation' means the undergraduates are away, but the postgrads and staff still go in each day! In the context of higher education, 'vacation' and 'holiday' aren't exact synonyms.

Comments

Same this morning too - I was steeling myself for the usual slog round the one way system from Kath's to mine, but it was a breeze.

Wouldn't life be great without students and children? :)

Posted by Siobhan at March 22, 2005 08:59 AM

I know that you said that the issue of undergrads bringing cars onto campus is something for another post, but...

For some of us, cars are a hobby. Perhaps like cycling for you and knitting for others. How would you feel if we stopped you bringing your bike onto campus?

Posted by adam at March 22, 2005 06:17 PM

Sorry Adam, but that's a fatuous comparison. Bikes and knitting don't take up anything like the same amount of road and parking space, to pick just one rebuttal. I presume we'd agree that concreting-over a greenfield site ad infinitum isn't an acceptable option, so parking has to be based on necessity, not individual whim.

If a student lives on campus, and is able-bodied, I don't see an obvious reason why he/she would need not 'want', need a car... er.... hang on; I have written about this before!

The over-running construction projects meant it would have been impolitic of the University to impose the full intended fees for 2004-5, but the principle itself is still valid: on-campus parking is a luxury, for which people should pay, and pay in full. I don't mean punitive charges merely as a deterrent, though that may become necessary, but at the very least, a car owner should pay as much as someone using public transport.

Last June, a return bus fare from town to campus was £1.60, so a car owner should pay no less. Over a 30-week academic year, that would put student parking permits into the region of £240. Okay; that doesn't consider the cost of petrol, insurance, wear-and-tear, etc., but even if the permit was £120, it'd be approaching ten times the current parking cost (students paid £13.50 for the full year 2003-4).

If your 'hobby' is worth that much to you, feel free to park.

Posted by NRT at March 22, 2005 06:41 PM
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