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University’s £1.1 million bus-hub receives backlash over parking difficulties

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Stirling University’s new £1.1 million bus hub causes parking problems for local residents and students.

Local residents are blaming the university’s new £1.1 million bus hub for parking shortages. The lack of spaces on campus has persistently caused issues for students and staff, but the parking problem has now spread to those living nearby.

Since the hub’s opening last month, residents have had restricted access to their homes due to cars parked in Hillfoots Road and the Logie Kirk and Wallace Monument car parks. Some of the parking is “dangerous and inconsiderate,” one resident told the Stirling Observer. “Why should we be inconvenienced and forced to pay to park near our own homes?”

Despite the problem being within city limits, Stirling Council does not provide parking to residents on grounds of them being outlying areas.

Students are also experiencing parking frustrations. Second-year student Georgia Mullen said: “Each day I see 40-plus cars circling round car parks looking for a space.”

While Mullen respects that many people commute to university, she believes that expenses could have been spent improving both the bus hub and the parking facilities.

Emma Mason, also a second-year student, shares this sentiment, having spent upwards of 30 minutes searching for a space. She said: “I don’t really know what difference the bus hub has made.”

Despite complaints, the university stands behind the bus hub and credits it as part of the university’s commitment to promoting sustainable travel. This encouragement to use bus services comes alongside other “green” incentives such as Liftshare and bike-parking expansions.

This just isn’t practical for some students, however, such as those living outside of the university’s immediate vicinity. Keren Colling, 20, lives in Menstrie, and a return trip to campus would cost £4.50 each time. Driving to seven classes a week only costs £15 in petrol, so the buses are not a financially viable option.

Stirling University’s website claims that driving into campus was disincentivised to maintain safety and to protect the “beauty of the surroundings”. Despite this, a £21 million “Campus Central Project” is currently in progress, with work not being completed until September 2020.

Feature image credit: Stirling Students’ Union

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