Nostalgia

I noticed today that access to Oxford centre will be restricted to electric vehicles by 2020. Great idea, close to my heart.

In 1961 my first rooms in college were the top-left windows in the pink building next to the tree above. Their advantages included location, location and location, if you could ignore the 24-7 traffic below, puthering smog year-long. But as an 18-year-old I rarely noticed the cold comfort they offered – in fact I can’t remember ever feeding the meter with a shilling for the gas fire – or the pollution below.

O tempora O mores!

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  1. October 12, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Driving in Oxford can be an absolute nightmare, parking ditto. Also the whole place is becoming a bit tawdry. Mrs J and I rarely go into Oxford now. We confine our outings to Reading, Wallingford, Thame and occasionally Newbury.

    However banning diesel and petrol vehicles from the city centre is a step in the right direction. I notice that they don’t mention LPG.

  2. Boadicea
    October 12, 2017 at 11:44 am

    How big is the restricted area? I can see the logic of banning all vehicles from those cities which have managed to retain their medieval street plans – as long as sufficient provision is made for vehicle parking outside that area and a good transport system is set up.

    But just where you would find good parking in Oxford is beyond me… the only parking ticket I ever got in the UK was in Oxford, and I still wish I could find and thank the parking warden who helped me get out of an impossibly small parking space – and promised that the b*ds who had blocked me in would get their comeuppance…

  3. October 12, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Jazz, yes, park-and-ride is best!

    Boa, I’m guessing it’s at least a square mile, taking in the river approaches, the station and the Parks.

  4. October 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    They have nearly complete a vast new shopping complex and parking on the old Westgate site. So that will have to be outside the No Petrol or Diesel Zone.

  5. October 13, 2017 at 6:51 am

    Yes, a very big car park.

  6. sheona
    October 13, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    How sad that your rooms were not actually in college, Janus. At our daughter’s Cambridge college all first year undergrads were accommodated in the college itself with traffic noise outside the walls.

  7. October 13, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Sheona, my rooms were very much in college, albeit noisy! Early in the last century (I think), BNC took over the whole block overlooking the High Street and integrated it into the nearest quads behind it, with bathrooms, etc. Several city-centre colleges have done that down the years, including St. Peter’s, Wadham, Pembroke, Oriel, Magdelen, St. Edmund Hall and the Queen’s.

    In fact I enjoyed the second year in the college’s Main Quad, made familiar by Morse on tv, and the third and fourth in a college annexe adjacent to the Oxford Union building a stone’s throw away, across Cornmarket.

    In my day, Oxford was dubbed the city of dreaming spires and screaming tyres – years before any ring road or traffic calming measures.

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