8:20am Thursday 26th April 2012
Sir — While attempting to entertain some family members from Yorkshire this weekend I discovered how difficult it is to walk round Oxford and to reach the museums.
Ignoring the ridiculous car parking arrangements in the city centre, we parked and rode from Seacourt, looking forward to visiting the Ashmolean Museum.
There are no bus stops in Beaumont Street. The buses that use the stops in Magdalen Street serve only the north of Oxford.
We left our park-and-ride bus at Castle Street and then had to run the gauntlet of all the unyielding people-jams in Queen Street, Carfax and Cornmarket before arriving at last, battered and exhausted, at the Ashmolean.
On our departure it was the same battle all over again. A coach-load of visitors had just disembarked outside the Randolph and were occupying the whole of the pavement in Magdalen Street and most of the road, photographing Martyrs’ Memorial, so we walked through Gloucester Green and caught our bus in New Road.
It was not a pleasant, entertaining day but we learnt a lot about Oxford If only the visitors to this fair city were compelled to treat the city and its residents with respect; if only there were buses which ran through the city, linking all stops between Kidlington and Headington.
Perhaps it would be simpler and more lucrative to pull down the museums, replace them with multi-storey car parks and provide ‘fast lanes’ on all pavements for those who merely want to walk from A to B as directly, painlessly and safely as possible.
As there is very little left to enjoy in the city, perhaps it would be better to close down Oxford altogether.
Celia Frue, Eynsham
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