LECTURERS have complained that they are being delayed for classes due to problems encountered with parking in UCD and have criticised university authorities for a lack of response to parking difficulties on campus.
A concerned member of academic staff explained that he has had “real difficulty” when attempting to park on campus this year and described how a number of staff members have been late to the start of lectures due to difficulties finding parking. “There’s 200 students sitting in a lecture theatre, waiting for 15 or 20 minutes and getting restless. And it’s the same for students coming late to practical classes who can’t find parking”.
Echoing the academic staff member, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Dr Ger Casey stated that there is “situation where members of staff are driving around for 45 minutes and the situation is chaotic”. Arguing that staff members should be able to secure parking spaces, he explained that “if a student is driving around at 10 am, the student is inconvenienced [but]if it is a quarter to ten and i’m driving around for a 10am lecture and cannot find a parking space, I am inconvenienced and so is everyone else depending on me”.
Objected to the university’s “very hard view” on the parking problems, the staff member argued against the “clamping staff and those responsible for parking and services [who] are being quite high handed in their dealings with individuals”. Stressing that “something radical could be done on campus if only those responsible could bite the bullet and do something”, the staff member criticised the situation and called for UCD to stop ignoring the problem as he feels this behaviour is creating more issues.
Suggestions have been put forward in favour of a system whereby students and staff could show UCD Id cards in order to park on campus. The academic staff member stressed the need for this as it could “cut down enormously on the number of non-UCD people using the car park”. Echoing the sentiments of the staff member, Dr Casey argued that parking could be allocated among administration staff, academic staff and students.
“There are administrative members of staff that have to be here from nine until five everyday as part of their conditions, who cannot work from home. I can work from home a lot of the time if I choose to, so in my priority it would not just be staff over students, it would be admin staff, the academic staff and then the students”.
A spokesperson for UCD acknowledged that the university has received comments on the provision of parking spaces from both staff and students. While there is no mention of an immediate solution, the spokesperson pointed to plans to improve cycling facilities and parking and transport, as part of the Campus Development Plan.