Walking up and down the Cranfield University‘s campus on daily basis can have a surprising effect – you start to notice things that you did not before but, suddenly, they appear peculiar. Consider the number of street lamps and other poles that I spotted today, hugged by bicycles and their safety chains near the library – perhaps as a results of the fact that the nearest bicycle rack near CSA was too far or too full. Similarly, the Main Reception area has no designated bicycle parking – one member of our walking society left a bike there chained to a parking sign, after being unable to locate a suitable cycling rack in close proximity. This member then found a threatening note on her bike upon her return.
Whilst bicycles in the area of the Kings Norton library and the Main Reception struggle for a dignified parking space and cover, some lovely all-weather booths have recently sprung up on the other side of the campus: with the introduction of the non-smoking policy for on-campus accommodation since September this year they are to offer shelter to student nicotine addicts who must now smoke outside their accommodation.
The introduction of the university’s non smoking policy in the halls of residence must be of course commended. I am not sure though how the provision of these smoking booths can be justified given the lack of sufficient number of similar facilities provided for bicycles on the other side of the campus. Particularly as I have not seen the smoking booths being used at all by smokers, since their introduction this summer. This might be due to the fact that they are not labelled nor any information was disseminated about them to students. Or it could be due to their location – from what I have observed, smokers prefer to stand right by the main entrance of a residence hall instead of walking any distance away when coming out for a cigarette. So at present, if you are a student at Cranfield University, you are better off to be a smoker than a biker – unless, of course you are a non-smoking walker -) .