Reporter 397, 17 February 1997


Knowing the time to keep confidences

Dr Alan Bullock
Department of Italian

Ms Wildman appears to have misunderstood the point of my letter concerning secretaries and security (Reporter 394). Of course those of us who "prefer to keep work and home matters separate" should have their wishes respected; they are the ones who will specifically request that their home phone number remains confidential and will make sure it does by going ex-directory.

Those who instead allow their number to be listed in the BT phone book are by definition accessible, and there seems little point in departments refusing to communicate information which is in the public domain and which, unlike BT, they can provide free of charge.

At one time every teacher in this University was issued with a booklet listing the home address, phone number and status of every member of the academic staff. This was discontinued not, I suspect, from fear of stalkers but as an economy measure; its absence poses problems which didn't exist in what were clearly more civilised times.

Academia and autism

Nick Andrews
School of Continuing Education

I am an autistic student at the University, suffering from Asperger's syndrome.

I should be grateful if any others in similar difficulties could contact me with ideas on how to cope with academia and autism, especially where motivation is concerned.

My e-mail is

More car parks would help PR

Vic Rogers
Textile Industries

I cannot disagree with Stephen Clark and colleagues regarding the true cost of parking permits. I see no reason why car drivers can not afford £1 a day to park. We certainly are in harsh financial times and every effort should be made to increase University revenues. More car parking spaces should be found, as the current availability for a university of over 20,000 (and increasing) is very insufficient.

For example, St George's Fields with its mouldering tombstones and weeds should be concreted over; also the 'Buddhist' garden behind the Roger Stevens Building would also make an excellent car park (it already has a ramp going up to it from behind the E C Stoner building!). These two areas would increase car parking space by almost 100%.

It is not good public relations to arrange parking permits for important visitors and then have them trudge half a mile from the nearest vacant parking space.

Drivers should be subsidised

Alastair Lumsden
Department of Earth Sciences

What an interesting letter from colleagues in the Institute for Transport Studies! Perhaps an alternative argument might be made, in the interests of balance. I travel to and from work by car. Total journey time is about one hour. By public transport (half-mile walk, two buses) total daily journey time is about three hours. Time saved is two hours per day.

At least half of this saved time is spent in doing University work - five hours per week at about 18 per hour for forty-six weeks per year. I can now claim to be subsidising the University at a rate of over £4,000 per year. The University should demand that all academic staff travel by car or pay the University £4,000. Probably, this would cause such a large increase in demand for parking space it would be necessary to convert the Institute for Transport Studies accommodation into a multi-storey car park.

University taxis not unfair taxes

Catherine Lorigan
University Print Services

In Reporter 396 correspondents from the Institute for Transport Studies proposed a hefty increase in car parking charges. The revenue from the increased charges could, in their view, be used to improve the terms and conditions of research staff. Are we motorists now to suffer the same fate as smokers: to be branded anti-social, outlawed to a far corner of the campus and taxed remorselessly until we give up the habit?

Most people bring cars to work for good reasons: they may have to take children to school en route, or perhaps they feel insecure walking home from the bus stop at night.

A more enlightened solution might be for the University to run a profit-making fleet of taxis, thus providing a convenient alternative for those of us who would gladly give up the expense of a car if we could be conducted home in safety, and freeing up parking space for all the research staff on increased salaries who want to buy a car and bring it to work!

Time for motorists to fight back

Name supplied

I couldn't help but notice the letter 'Motorists could help with salaries' in the last issue of the Reporter. It seems that some of the people of Transport Studies are caught up in a tangled web of obsession over 'car parking'!

Why is this? Maybe the University had been (allegedly) subsidising car parking because of the increase in tax and insurance for car owners.

On one hand, cyclists on the streets of Leeds seem to have little regard for fellow travellers as they pass on the inside of queues of traffic, squeezing through the smallest gap, seeming to have no regard for their own personal safety!

Why also is it, that when a cyclist crashes into a car causing enormous amounts of damage, do they just pick themselves up and carry on cycling casually along? The driver of the car is then left to pick up the insurance bill.

I am sure I am about to cause a revolt and apologise if my comments/opinion has offended anyone in any way but it's time for the motorists to fight back!

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