Undercover Economist

Commuter literate

I was recently invited to a friend’s wedding in the historic city of Oxford. Wearing our best robes, and with a toddler, a baby, nappies and toys in tow, my wife and I drove from London to Oxford, shunning the alternative of a journey via bus, Tube, train and bus again to the wedding venue. My wife is a keen environmentalist, but not that keen.

On arrival in Oxford, an economic puzzle. It is cheap to park in Oxford’s centre – free, in many areas – but with a maximum stay of two hours, it was impossible to park there for the wedding. I eventually resorted to dropping the family at the city-centre venue and weaving up and down North Oxford’s residential streets for a couple of miles.

I left the car for five hours in a remote two-hour space and hoped I’d get away with it.

(I did.) When the wedding was over, I walked back to the car, drove back into the town centre, picked up the family, and drove them home to east London.

I’ve since asked Oxfordshire County Council what they were playing at…

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