It was thanks to Oxfordshire County Council that I got soaked on Friday morning. So did anyone else who was outside in the town centre at 10am. The deluge of rain was quite sudden and like a monsoon.
Only a few years ago you could get a bus that went right through the city centre, then up the Banbury or Woodstock Roads. But now you have to get off at the top of the High Street and walk up Cornmarket. I was only going as far as the Ashmolean, and I was wearing a thick hooded raincoat and carrying an umbrella but in that short distance I was utterly soaked. The rain fell in torrents and turned Cornmarket into a river rather a road.
I still remember the utter tosh that the County Council issued as publicity for its pedestrianisation scheme. It was called Transform Oxford. The blurb told us over and over again how good for us it was to have to walk everywhere. There used to be a bus-stop just opposite the Ashmolean. Now you have to walk all the way down into Castle Street, regardless of the weather or what you may be carrying. Are you old, disabled or struggling with heavy shopping? Never mind, five helpings of inconvenience per day make us healthier, happier and better people.
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