Coffee on the move

When I was Leader of Oxfordshire County Council I sought to challenge some of the orthodoxies and received wisdon that could take hold in local government as in most large organisations. One of them was that highway engineers and planners always knew best. They were committed to the concept of getting people out of their cars onto bicycles and into buses. As a part of this strategy, they promoted Park & Rides in Oxford and one of the first such innovations in the country. I had no problem with them as a concept and even used them to catch the bus from Oxford to London whcn I had meetings close to Victoria.

coffee on the moveWhat bothered me was the bleakness of the Park & Rides. You could not buy a newspaper or a coffee or a bun. You could not leave your car for a service or a valet. There were always reasons why it was not possible. I pushed and pressed for some lateral thinking but never really made progress to secure change. I am therefore delighted to learn that change has finally started and I thank Chief Executive Joanna Simons for sending me photographs of the coffee facility that is now on offer at the County Council’s Park & Rides. One is shown to the left. I hope this is the first step in making Park & Rides more customer focussed and that motorists will be able to leave their cars for a valet or for collection for a service. I may well look in when I am passing for a coffee on the move!

About Keith R Mitchell CBE

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1967. Pursued a successful career in financial training and publishing until selling his interests in 1990. Elected a County Councillor for the Bloxham Division in 1989. Leader of Oxfordshire County Council 5 November 2001 to 15 May 2012. Chairman of the South East England Regional Planning Committee July 2002 to July 2005. Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly July 2005 to July 2008. In HM the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours, appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of services to local government.
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