Reporter 396, 3 February 1997


Motorists could help with salaries

Stephen Clark, Jeremy Toner and Mark Wardman
Institute for Transport Studies

The cost of a car parking permit to the University has recently been estimated. This cost includes security staff time and maintenance of the barrier system (but does not include the cost of the land occupied by the car parks). This cost comes near to £95 per permit per year. Therefore when the price was £30, the University had been subsidising car drivers to the tune of £65 per annum. Since no equivalent subsidy was given to other transport mode users - no University-funded £65 discount on metrocards, no interest free cycle loans - this clearly represents discrimination in favour of car drivers. Undoubtedly the Inland Revenue would also be interested in this untaxed benefit received by car driving members of staff.

In these financially stringent times, the University is failing to maximise revenue from this particular asset and should consider further raising the annual fee until the price elasticity of demand equals one. Given this enhanced revenue stream, University accountants may then be able to offer decent terms and conditions of employment to its fixed term contract staff.

Be my eyes

Paul Jarman
London University

I am a totally blind post-graduate student working for a Ph.D thesis at London University. I rely entirely on volunteer readers, and will be coming to Leeds to examine manuscripts at the Brotherton Library in the next few months.

My thesis is on the early career of the Romantic poet Robert Southey, in particular his radical political views up to 1800. Knowledge of this area is not necessary, but patience to decipher the manuscripts would help!

The work is likely to be very rewarding, and while unfortunately I can't pay readers for their work I expect to be able to cover expenses. I would be extremely grateful to hear from any willing volunteers on 0171 431 4005.

Brighton beach

Hilary Sharp
University Computing Service

If you need cheering up in the midst of winter, try walking across Chancellor's Court - it might bring back memories of strolling on Brighton Beach. Luckily it's fashionable to wear sturdy boots in winter and summer these days.

First impressions

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