Why not let staff park for free

AS A Bowerham resident of many years, I would like to respond to the ongoing issue of the use of street parking around the University of Cumbria.

Each year the problem gets worse, as the number of staff, students and residents become car owners.

It is obvious to most that the main reason that drivers choose to park on the surrounding streets is down to cost and convenience.

The problem falls into several categories.

Students – realistically, if you are already a car owner before going off to university you are hardly likely to leave it parked up on the drive at home and pay for public transport to travel back and to, with all the added costs this entails.

Staff – since the university, in its wisdom, decided to start charging for parking on campus the problem has worsened, with many staff seeing this as unfair, as they take all the flak for the university’s actions.

And as many staff travel from one campus spending a couple of hours at one site before travelling to another this sometimes gives the impression that there is plenty of unused parking space during the day.

And although the charges are based on the staff grade, many of the higher salaried staff still park on the streets.

Residents are not happy with the prospect of a residents’ parking scheme if this fails to guarantee a space for themselves and their visitors, until the university has put its own house in order.

As the university stated when asked what happens to the revenue generated by parking on campus: “The parking is not profit making, it barely pays for the running of the scheme”.

If this is the case why not allow staff free parking on campus?

This would not cost anything, and would cut street parking at a stroke. It would also show local residents that the university is doing its fair share for the community.

Then, if problems continued, the residents would know that we are all after the same thing, and would be more amenable to a survey on residents’ parking as the next step.

Lastly, if we are to have a survey, instead of having the usual tick box – do you want residents parking, why not ask the residents for their views and solutions?

And base the results on actual residents, not students who won’t be here if it is introduced.

P Lea

Coulston Road