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Are we satisfied with our university parking?

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A university such as Stirling which is outside main cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh will naturally have students that rely on private transport to attend university, and there is no shortage of them.

The developments this semester on parking has been interesting with the construction works on campus, the opening on temporary car parks, portacabins consuming spaces… In an interview with VP Education Amy Smith she said “Because they were putting portacabins in the car parks they were opening up some temporary parking spaces… technically there’s the same number of parking spaces as there were before the portacabins but those spaces are further away”

On the issue of disabled parking Amy Smith stated “There is a lack of accessible parking spaces in general… that’s part of the ongoing issue with car parking, obviously this year there’s been more specific things because of the flooding and because of the portacabins and because of the construction works”

In a survey, gathering 84 respondents, many responded to the construction impact, value for money and the adequacy of university parking.

The survey found that 50% of respondents drove to university from Stirling and another 50% drove from elsewhere, indicating that much of the traffic is coming from the city of Stirling. Others ranged from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries and Aberdeen.

25% said that it usually took them at least 20 minutes to find a parking space and another 25% said that they usually cannot park in a designated space. 20% said that it takes at least 10 minutes to find a space. Before her election, SU President Chloe Whyte, said “I recognise that a big factor in the high congestion is because students don’t believe the UL is reliable enough or cost effective”

93% of respondents felt that the construction works on campus are having an impact on parking. Amy Smith – “Specific car parking spaces will be blocked for a reason but whenever there are building materials or anything in parking spaces largely they’re really not supposed to be there”

94% of respondents felt that the university had insufficient parking for staff and students with only 6% saying that it was sufficient.

65% felt that a university parking permit was not value for money with only 17% saying that it was. “This is complicated. Every single student has their preferred way of traveling to campus” – Amy Smith.

Many different solutions were suggested by the respondents including car park expansion, park and ride, selective day permits.

Out of 5 stars, the overall rating was 1.7, clear evidence that staff and students at this university are very dissatisfied with the parking situation which may be described presently as a crisis.

I am a 3rd year undergraduate Economics and Politics student at the University of Stirling. I am a writer for Brig Newspaper and hold committee positions in the University of Stirling Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) and the University of Stirling Economics Society.

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