ISO/ IEC JTC1/SC22/WG21 N2120

Project: Programming Language C++
Document Number: SC22 WG21 N2120=06/0190
Date: 2006-11-06
Author: Lois Goldthwaite (lois at loisgoldthwaite.com)

April 2007 Meeting

Next spring's WG21 meeting will take place at the Paramount Oxford Hotel in Oxford, England, April 15-20, 2007. Hosts are ACCU; the sponsors (so far) are Google and Adobe. The address is Godstow Road, Oxford, OX2 8AL. The hotel's web site is here:

http://www.paramount-hotels.co.uk/oxford

It is located about two miles north of central Oxford, on the Wolvercote Roundabout of the northern Ring Road around the city. You can input the post code OX2 8AL into your favorite map site (e.g. maps.google.co.uk, www.streetmap.co.uk, www.multimap.com) to see a map of the hotel's neighborhood in Oxford. The city center is to the south down Woodstock Road. There is a bus stop almost in front of the hotel, with service to the city center about every 15 minutes. In addition to the hotel restaurant, there are other eating places within walking distance, although unfortunately not just around the corner. 

Among the amenities of the Oxford Hotel are a fitness center, which contains the usual weight machines and treadmills, sauna and steamroom, a smallish swimming pool (small by Texas standards, anyway), and TWO glass-backed squash courts. Racquetball aficionados might like to try out the sport. 

Most important of all, there is a large bar and lobby area for those important evening work sessions.

Also among said amenities is a large parking lot, unusual for Oxford. It is NOT necessary to rent a car -- public transport or taxis are quite adequate -- but if you do rent one, you will have a place to park it which doesn't cost more than the daily rental charge. 

A good starting point for information about all Oxford public transport is here:

http://web.comlab.ox.ac.uk/oxinfo/timetables/

The main London airports are Heathrow and Gatwick. If you are arriving there, the easiest way to get to Oxford is by bus (80-100 minutes from Heathrow, 120-150 minutes from Gatwick -- see http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/[heathrow|gatwick].html). With luck, the roadworks in Oxford and attendant delays will be just bad memories by next April. Other London airports are Luton, Stansted, and London City Airport. Cheap flights, especially from European destinations, may be more available to these airports. Luton and Stansted also have bus service to Oxford, although the travel times are longer (~3 to 4 hours, including some layovers en route) than those from the primary airports. From London City, take cross-London rail and tube trains to Paddington Station. 

Railway enthusiasts (and masochists) may prefer to experience British train travel instead of taking the bus directly from the airport to Oxford. The (overpriced) Heathrow Express goes from Heathrow Airport to Paddington Station, from whence frequent trains depart for Oxford (duration :55-1:35). From Gatwick, you can take the train to Victoria Station in London (:30-:40), then the Circle Line tube or taxi to Paddington, and then the train to Oxford. (It has been announced that the non-stop Gatwick Express service will be axed to provide more track capacity for commuter trains on the same route. This may take effect before next April, but there should still be several trains per hour to choose from.) Another option from Gatwick is to take the train to Reading (1:15, on the once-an-hour service which goes there directly), and then transfer to a train going to Oxford (25-45 min). 

In fairness, British trains are not too bad, when they are actually running more or less on schedule. Two major causes of delay -- "leaves on the line" and "the wrong kind of snow" (I am not making this up) -- are unlikely to be a problem in April. But "staffing difficulties" and "industrial action" are always in season. Fine dining on board, alas, is a tradition that went out with the Orient Express. You might want to pick up a takeaway baguette sandwich at the station before leaving on your journey. And if travelling by train, be prepared to hump your luggage up and down stairs at the stations. Elevators (called "lifts" here) are rare, and helpful porters are another tradition that went out with the Orient Express. 

Yet another travel option, if your city has the connection, is to fly into Birmingham Airport, take the two-minute SkyRail to Birmingham International Station (see http://www.birmingham-airport-guide.co.uk/transport.html) and pick up the train from there to Oxford (:58). 

Whichever option you choose, you will be arriving in Oxford at or near the central train station. Either take a cab from there directly to the Oxford Hotel, or walk five minutes to the bus stop outside the Randolph Hotel and take one of the city buses which go up Woodstock Road. There is a travel information office in the train station which can provide directions. 

The rate we have negotiated with the Oxford Hotel is 115 UK pounds per night for a single room plus breakfast and buffet lunch. That is expensive in US dollars, but in line with other major Oxford hotels (Oxford is an expensive tourist trap^W^W place to visit). However, a second person in the room, including breakfast but not lunch, adds only 15 pounds more to the tab. If you don't want to stay at the hotel, there are other alternatives within walking distance -- the Holiday Inn where we met in 2003 is not far away, and likewise the cheaper Travelodge which shares its parking lot. There are also some small bed-and-breakfast places in the neighborhood. For lunch, you can buy your own (buffet or a la carte) in the restaurant, grab a sandwich from the snack bar in the lobby, or go out (a brisk walk is good for you). 

WG21 immediately follows the annual ACCU conference (April 10-14), and you may want to plan to arrive early to experience the atmosphere. Early details are at http://accu.org/index.php/conferences/accu_conference_2007; the full schedule will be available later. 

Hotel bookings can be made through our conference organizer, Archer-Yates Associates Ltd, who can also provide pointers to alternative accommodation. We expect a web page for such bookings, plus any later information about the meeting arrangements, to be available Real Soon Now at http://accu.org/index.php/wg21april2007.