By Ollie Hicks- news@westerneye.net

As of October 1st there will be major changes to how to access the university via students’ private vehicles. Due to the university’s green policy which hopes to encourage its students to walk, cycle or take the bus to campus; car parking restrictions have taken place. All vehicles, except motorcycles, parked on campus between the core hours of 09:00 and 17:00 Monday to Friday must display a parking validation on their vehicle windscreen. This excludes car park 20 on Frenchay Campus, which will now operate on a ticketless system with a new vehicle registration unit in place. The cost of number-plate recognition software averages at around £3000.

In previous years, parking on campus has been relatively easy, simply purchasing a year long validation and enjoying access to the car parks on all university campuses or with a daily purchase of a ticket with the small fee of 75 pence.  However, as of October 1st, car parking tickets will rocket to £3 per day along with the restriction of the postcode exclusion zone.

The exclusion zone for car parking at UWE

 

The postcode exclusion zone exists where UWE buses run. It will limit hugely the amount of students who are able to able to access the university car parks depending on where they live in Bristol. The exclusion zone covers all of central, and most of North Bristol. On the other hand, if students live outside of the exclusion zone and have their own transport the car parking fees will cost them a hefty £15 per week to go to their lectures.

This financially draining car parking policy is harsh on students in comparison to prices which the university staff pay for parking. The university staff will pay only a fraction of what the students will pay as the price of a staff permit is based on a 0.3% deduction of their salary starting 1 October. The average starting salary of a university lecturer being around £33,000 a lecturer will pay £99 per year for their parking fee, whereas a year pass for a student is £106.

The Students Union has received several concerns by students which we have raised on behalf of the members to the university. We have asked the university to split the payment, improve communication and improve car sharing provision. We have concerns over the policy and the procedures around car parking. We will continue to raise concerns to the university and the union will be releasing a statement next week” – UWE Students Union

Furthermore, this expensive new policy towards students will potentially have an adverse effect on the university as it will encourage students to park their vehicles in the surrounding residential streets next to the university complex in order to avoid these parking fees, which could also affect university relations with surrounding communities.

 

For any students affected by the university’s new policy on parking, the university has an official complaints procedure which is accessed by emailing complaints@uwe.ac.uk .