I love Sussex. I really do. But there’s one thing that my hometown needs to sort out and that’s public transport – more specifically the buses. Quite frankly, it’s rubbish. I feel quite spoilt up here in Oxford. Here the buses are on time, well, kind of. At least I know when they’re supposed to turn up. Thank you up-to-date digital timetable.
I am slightly biased though. Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of bus travel. Mainly because I can’t do much except look out of the window or talk. Getting travel sick is never fun. I do like train travel. When I was in Sussex, my commute to work went along the coast. I loved watching the seasons go by, the sun coming up or going down over the sea, the day getting darker or lighter depending on the time of the year. I also made train friends, which always made for an entertaining journey. Now my fellow bus commuters are school kids.
I’ve purposely not bought a car, mainly because I know I’m going to get lazy and I do like my slender size 8. I also can’t afford a car and even if I could, I probably wouldn’t get one because the public transport here is fairly decent. And I have a bike. Besides, the roads around Oxford seem to confuse me. I’m not used to so many huge roundabouts and dual carriageways – and I consider myself a good driver with a decent sense of direction.
The parking charges in the city are horrific. The car park near Oxford Castle was £3.50 for an hour. If we were not stationary, my dad would have crashed the car! The alternative is the park and ride scheme. Park your car in any of the five locations on the outskirts of the city, and catch the bus into town. The charges range from free to around £1.70 for the day. One way into the city by bus is generally around £1.80.
Oxford, of course, is known for bikes. Cycle routes are everywhere. In fact, it’s probably the best way to get around. It’s a still a sight for me to see loads of bikes parked at the train station.
Slowly I’m discovering the city on two wheels. As part of my training for my up coming London to Brighton bike ride for the British Heart Foundation I’ve been cycling along the Thames Pathway. I just happened to be in Limehouse, London on Wednesday and found the end of the trail. I got very excited that I found the end!
For me, I’m finding Oxford easy to get around sans automobile. If only my hometown would follow suit!