Driven mad 1

February 17, 2006

It is all very well for Andrew Oswald to state that "People design their lives the way they want" ("Got a space to think but no space for your car?", February 10). But many people cannot. I spent more than ten years on short-term contracts, during which time I worked for five universities, and so could not always live within biking distance to wherever my next employer was. This also precluded being able to buy a house.

Now I have a permanent contract and have bought a house, but I could not afford anything in York and live about 15 miles away in a village with no public transport. I regularly arrive before 9am and cannot find a space because they are filled with conference attendees or visitors to the National Science Centre, which is next door to our building but not part of the university. And because the medical school is on two campuses 35 miles apart, our staff often must rush from one to the other with no time to spend 20 minutes hunting for a space.

York now plans to double the size of the campus, but the council will not allow any more parking spaces. There must be solutions. But no plans are under way for alternatives as far as I can ascertain.

If an employer cannot provide adequate facilities for staff to do their jobs, particularly when they are paying for the service, then we are justified in taking action. My proposal is that if staff are unable to find a parking space, they should simply go home.

Jean McKendree
Hull York Medical School

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