PROPOSALS to introduce paid parking to the university will not be implemented during the new semester. The decision has been made due to Government plans to introduce a €200 annual levy charged to employees whose employers provide them with a parking space which will be implemented over the summer.
Students’ Union (SU) President, Aodhán Ó Deá, said that any decisions to bring in paid parking will be put on hold until the parking levy is decided. “There’s going to be some sort of change for people who already have [paid parking] systems in place,” said Mr Ó Deá. “We are better off waiting to see exactly what systems would be allowed under that [the new levy] so we don’t have to change our system all together.”
Instead, the university are now concentrating on improving bus services serving the university and have made a proposal to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to implement a Quality Bus Corridor (QBC) servicing UCD and improve its links to the DART and LUAS.
One of the university’s proposals is that an orbital bus route would run from Blackrock and service UCD before finishing at the Green LUAS line. Mr Ó Deá felt that if this was implemented, it would “improve traffic hugely and hopefully encourage a lot more people to use other methods of transport.”
One alternative, which was proposed by School of Philosophy Head Lecturer, Dr Gerard Casey, is a zoned parking system where staff are prioritised over students. Within the staff cohort, administrative staff would get priority over academic staff due to contractual stipulations and other spaces would be designated for students and visitors to the university.
Mr Ó Deá criticised Dr Casey’s model saying “I would completely disagree with Dr Casey’s theory as do most people in the university… having separate car parks just will never work.” He also remarked on the proposal to build a self-financing multi-story car park as part of the Gateway Project. He said it could introduce “another 800 spaces, but they would be charged and the charge on that would pay for the whole construction.”
Dr Casey remained sceptical, denying these measures would fix the car parking problem. He cited the current economic climate as cause for concern asking, “what do people think in the current climate is the serious possibility of improving transport links to UCD?” He also criticised public transport as “expensive, intermittent [and] unreliable.”