THE UNIVERSITY has been put under pressure to introduce parking fees and it is anticipated that a pay parking system could be introduced by September 2009. A sharp increase in traffic on the Belfield campus and a clash of opinions between students and staff on the matter are believed to be pushing the university to find a solution to the lack of parking spaces on campus.
Discussions are ongoing however a charge of 50 cent for three hours, with a maximum charge of three euro has been proposed. Students’ Union (SU) President, Aodhán Ó Deá explained that the proposal “will be talked about over the next few months and there is talk about it being introduced next year”. Mr Ó Deá said that he hoped that this money will be used to improve facilities for cyclists and commuters, by constructing more secure bike stalls, showers and lockers.
Mr Ó Deá commented that the issue of parking fees was particularly
prevalent this year, as many other premises in the area surrounding UCD have introduced pay parking alongside the parking levy brought in by the Government in last year’s budget.
He commented that the increase in students driving to lectures was also to blame for the proposed scheme. “There is a certain realisation that a lot of the students who are driving into college, do not need to be driving into college. We are on the main bus corridor in the country, and there are so many facilities here, bike racks etc, that there is a realisation that charges will need to be implemented.”
Alternative solutions to the parking situation in UCD were rejected by the SU President, who commented, “The staff wanted segregated parking for staff and students which I believe would be the worst possible scenario because inevitably at some points in the day, spaces will be open and unavailable.”
Senior lecturer in the UCD’s Department of Philosophy, Dr Gerard Casey, who has undertaken extensive into parking measures in UCD commented that the SU position on segregated parking was “foolish”. “We’re the only university, other than Maynooth, that doesn’t have segregated parking. Its completely mad.”
Dr Casey explained that he had not heard any authoritive evidence that paid parking would be introduced but emphasised that indiscriminate parking fees would not be well received by staff.
“I will be here only for the time that I am strictly required to be under contract, and no other time. I have a feeling that most other staff would do the same.”