Notes from Catherine Rowett, former Green Party MEP for East of England and deputy coordinator of the Eastern Region Green Party*(UK). Biographical reflections on life as an MEP. Longer reflections and discussions on issues relating to policy, the good life, justice, equality, anti-austerity economics and the future of the planet. This is also a forum for exchanging ideas on how to tread lightly on the planet and avoid supporting exploitation and corrupt practices. Here we go...

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

The best way to get to Oxford

What's the best way to drive from Cambridge to Oxford?

The simple answer is, don't even try. Just take the train.

But a Sunday morning between 7.30 and 9.30 is probably the best time to sample the route by car, and it is quite pleasant then. Probably preferable to the trains, since one should, in general, never try to go anywhere by train on a sunday morning.

It crossed my mind, as we drove across by way of Bedford and Woburn and Aylesbury and so on, that the roads at that time of day were quite empty, and that if everyone in the country were to do what we do and hire a car about three times a year, that's how the roads would be at the busiest times.

And wouldn't we all be a lot happier then?

And then it struck me, as we looked for a parking space in the narrow streets of East Oxford, that if we all lived like that, then only one house in 100 would have a car on any one day of the year (or maybe two in every 100 if they hired for two days each, three times a year), and that car would probably not be parked in front of their house, because they'd be using it. So there would be no difficulty in parking, because the streets would be entirely empty of parked cars.

They'd be full of children playing of course, as they used to be. But that would be a delight, not a problem.

It's odd, it seems to me, that such a simple way to happiness should be so far beyond our grasp.

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