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...

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Parking £3.20 all day

Parking £3.20 all day.

This is what it says on a large sign facing the railway just outside Norwich station.
It's obviously addressed to people travelling on the train. I assumed initially that this must be to allow commuters who catch the train from Norwich to see that they could park their car near the station for the day and then take the train (to London, say). It now occurs to me that it might be addressing those who commute into Norwich from Norfolk, Suffolk or wherever, suggesting that you could travel by car instead and here's a place to park that will be just as good as coming in by train.

I imagine some people whose train ticket costs more than £3.20 a day might be tempted to think they'd save some money that way. It's a sad situation that many people seem to judge their happiness and well-being by the immediate amount of money going in and out of their purses in obvious, measurable amounts.

One morning last week on Radio Norfolk there was another example of that. It was a discussion of the declining quality and increasing cost of the bus service. It's true that the service is declining and the ticket prices have risen sharply. That is at least partly due to the government cutting the grants that assist with provision of services to rural communities. Such is the government's commitment to the environment, and supporting efforts towards sustainable lifestyles.

But however much one laments the failure to subsidise country buses, here is a very stupid thought, uttered by one of the listeners who phoned in:

"The car park costs less than the bus fare so it's cheaper to drive in than to take the bus."

How many mistakes is this person making when she thinks like that?

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