in a fish bowl or not?
senior research fellow
a sociologist, in general I reckon social science needs
biology about as much as a fish needs a bicycle
to adapt a phrase. Yet I puzzle at your own particular
demurral (Reporter 477 pages 4-5): "While
human beings might not face the necessity of finding food
..." I havenŐt met any who could evade that necessity.
Not live ones, anyway. Have you? As Karl Marx said: "Man
must eat." He got that bit right, surely.
Or fear predators", you go on. I fear predators,
whether individual or corporate. Were I a woman, I fear
I'd fear them more. But somehow I doubt I'll find enlightenment
in a fish bowl. Solace, perhaps.
be on a rationing system
School of Healthcare Studies
Kathy Dyer (Letters, Reporter 477) I was also pleased
to hear that the University is interested in environmental
issues. I do agree that one way forward for the University's
car parking problem might be to subsidise staff to use
other forms of transport, such as buses, trains, bikes
the ludicrous length of the waiting list (Dr Lewis' letter
in the same issue refers to 638 staff) for parking permits,
it might also, or alternatively, be worth considering
a 'rationing' system, whereby each member of staff could
park either for a particular number of days each week,
or days each term, or even each year. The problem is not
simply about car parking in the University, it is about
the effect upon all of us of pollution caused by traffic;
and we should all be doing as much as we can to cut down
on commuting by car.
another environmental matter, may I also suggest a remedy
for the enormous number of cigarette butts strewn around
University grounds, particularly in flower beds? Metal
cigarette bins fixed to the outside of buildings, near
where staff (and students) congregate to smoke, would
be safer and would help to achieve a pleasant environment.
The University has some lovely displays of plants, marred
all too often by a mulch of cigarette butts.
isn't cost but service
Institute for Corporate Learning
I was interested to read Mr Best's comments in Reporter
477 urging the University to encourage more staff to use
public transport. Whilst I totally applaud the sentiment,
the timing of Mr Best's remarks is unfortunate and I can
only assume that he is not aware of the current difficulties
being experienced by our local train operator, Arriva.
The University, of course, already operates a metrocard
scheme but I would suggest that it is not the cost of
using public transport that is the main deterrent in this
region but the 'service' offered which is currently one
of the worst in the country.
Best may be pleased that the local planning authority
is restricting parking space, but if he is really concerned
about the environmental consequences of car use in this
area, perhaps he could turn his attention to a transport
authority that allows Arriva to cancel 1000 trains a week
to 'improve reliability' (it hasn't!) Instead of concentrating
on measures to penalise the car user, let's concentrate
on measures to improve conditions for those of us who
are prepared to use public transport. Then maybe more
of our colleagues would choose to join us.
motorists stay with their cars
School of Mechanical Engineering
feel I must take issue with Harold Best, regarding his
concern over the provision of extra parking spaces around
the University and its environs (Letters, Reporter
477). Whilst I am concerned about the environment, I am
also concerned about the manner in which Leeds City Council
has glibly gone about introducing its draconian measures
to curb car usage on its highways.
employees of the University, such as myself, live outside
the Leeds area in areas not provided with a public transport
service anywhere near adequate enough to get us to Leeds
and back home at a reasonable hour. Too many transport
strategies have been developed using the assumption that
Leeds' workforce lives within Leeds or its outdistricts,
which is, in my opinion, a completely unacceptable, and
I have had a lifelong interest in public transport, and
have witnessed the change from 'public service' to 'profit-making
exercise' with absolute disdain. When public transport
systems were subsidised wholly by their respective municipalities,
there was never a problem, but since deregulation, services
have been withdrawn, buses 'miss' on a regular basis,
inspectors are non-existent, and fares are sky high.
this basis, is it really a surprise that motorists are
not tempted away from their cars? I think not. Look around
you. Buses are already packed to the doors, and as long
as private bus operators such as First Group operate on
the basis of charging extortionate fares instead of providing
more vehicles on heavily used routes, then problems will
continue. There are fair ways of encouraging public transport
usage, and unfair ones. It is plainly obvious to myself
which methods are being used by Leeds City Council.