Thursday, February 25, 2010

From Shipley to Sheffield

Shipley Health Centre is a smart new building in the middle of all the old stone-built houses of Shipley, and it's there that I was working this morning.

It's only thirteen miles from home but actually I allowed an hour and a quarter to get there, as it's a very trafficy thirteen miles, and I got there early but not amazingly early. The health centre has a reasonable-sized car park - however, I've always found it full. But there's a car park for the swimming pool next door and when I've worked there previously, that's where I've parked.

This morning that was full too. Lots of meetings going on at the health centre, apparently.

So I parked in the car park for the supermarket next door. But you can only park there for two hours and after that they give you a parking ticket. Sighh.

So in the first part of the morning my mind was never free from a feeling of "I must make sure I move my car". And in the coffee break I dashed out and finally found a car park up the road - - and I'll use that one for any future trips there.

The people running the session made sure I could go in good time and I was grateful to them as I had to go off to Sheffield for a different roleplay session this afternoon. It was forty-two miles though built-up Bradford and then across and down the M1 motorway.

I knew that parking would be fine in Sheffield as it's a huge building with a huge car park. And I arrived there nicely in time - - to find that a lot of the car park was covered in scaffolding for some building work, and that the number of parking spaces was greatly reduced, and that every single parking space was taken.

An investigation of the nearby side roads showed cars everywhere - - in every conceivable parking spot and on all the double yellow lines too. There was simply nowhere to put my car.

I rang reception at the building where I was working and explained this, and explained that really I was integral to the work this afternoon, and what did they suggest?

"Is there really not a single space free?" she asked.

"Only one," I said, "and that's for the caretaker and it says that nobody must ever park in it ever or a terrible yet unspecified punishment will follow".

"Park in it!" she said triumphantly, "and I'll take the consequences".

I parked in it. There never did appear to be any consequences, unless the caretaker is putting a blazing newspaper through her letter box at this very moment.

I really enjoyed the work I did today and I think it all went well. But I'm so fed up of the lack of car parking in the NHS venues.

Now then, of course, you might say that I should travel by public transport. But there's simply no way I could have got from one job to the other in time by public transport. Bus to the centre of Leeds. Train to Shipley. Bus to the Health Centre. Bus back to Shipley train station. Train to Sheffield. Bus to the venue in Sheffield. Bus back to the train station in Sheffield. Train to Leeds. Bus home.

It just wouldn't have been possible in any way. I finished in Shipley at twelve and had to start work in Sheffield before two.

And if I got public transport to many of these half-day jobs, it would take almost all day to get there and back - - and I am only paid for a half-day's work, so - to me - it doesn't seem fair if it takes all day.

No, I don't know what the answer is. I'd just like to be able to give all my concentration to the work I'm doing, and not to have to spend so much time worrying about parking the car.


Anonymous Milo said...

Bus journeys in London are a quite normal and easy way to get around. But in other parts of the UK (outside the largest cities) I don't like travelling by bus.

11:42 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

DAPHNE - In Sheffield you could have parked at my house. We could have done some exciting role plays together. You could have been Marilyn Monroe and I would have been Arthur Miller. Then I would have driven you over to your work appointment before returning for more role plays and a much deserved cup of tea in the late afternoon.

11:58 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

I was just going to say if you had tried to contact Lord Pudding, he probably would have been more than willing to remove some of his many vehicles from the roads and car parks in Sheffield. But be careful doing role play with him as his motto is "The moai the merrier"....

1:33 am  
Anonymous Ruth said...

I'm just envious of the amount of roleplay work you get, not bitter but envious. Working out the logistics is always part of the decision making process when it comes to agreeing to take on contracts but yes it is annoying when travel arrangements are so badly limited by poor parking provision. Nearly as annoying as when I am going for a hospital appointment I have to deliberate whether to get a taxi (expensive) or leave home excessively early to allow time for finding a parking space. Of course if I find one early it costs me more to park there and I never know how long I will be at the hospital because appointments rarely if ever start at the time they are supposed to.

6:56 am  
Blogger WendyCarole said...

I know what you mean about public transport. I use it all the time but cannot work at one school in the morning and another in the afternoon because the bus times wouldn't work out.

I oftten catch a bus one before the one I need in case mine doesn't turn up or is late often due to the amount of traffic caused by cars. What ever transport one uses there are disadvantages. I get to read on mine though!

12:06 pm  
Blogger Jennytc said...

It's high time there was some proper investment in public transport. People won't use it by choice unless it is frequent, punctual and cheap, although it wounldn't solve your problems, I know. Here, we get to see a bus about twice week! (Slight exaggeration). I sympathise with your drive through Bradford. We've been doing it quite often over the last few months and it's a horrible place to drive in.

1:37 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Milo - I think buses are great if time isn't a factor - great for people-watching too!
YP - idyllic though your idea sounds, I fear it might have been too distracting and I might never have got to my actual job.
Bob - ahhh that's it! Probably some of Lord Pudding's Jags were cluttering up Sheffield.
Ruth - it's bad enough trying to get a parking space when I'm working. What it's like for people who are actually ill, or their visitors, is just unspeakable.

9:11 pm  

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