University bans student parking on campus – updated 20/05/08

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By Zain Sardar and Charlie Baylis on 14.5.2023

University bans student parking on campus – updated 20/05/08

In a move that has angered many students and initiated an immediate response from the Student Union, the University, on March 3rd, released information that it intended to ban student parking on campus. The information on car parking policy was first seen by some students on the Kent social networking website, The Student Portal.

Students later informed the Union president, Achike Ofodile that the university was to ban students parking on campus as part of its ‘ongoing green travel initiative.’ Additionally, this will ensure that more staff parking will be available, especially in the vast parking spaces in Parkwood.

The union was never told about the policy adopted by the University at any stage and was bypassed in the formulation of it. The University is said to have discussed the issue with other universities which have instituted similar policies.

The University itself has said it is not willing to compromise and will ‘bite the bullet’ over the issue. In response Archike Ofodile has slammed the university for ‘not regarding the needs and wants of students’, the policy being a ‘slap in the face of students as it will have a huge detrimental effect on students welfare.’ especially since the university doesn’t plan to implement more efficient public transport services in wake of the ban, which has been seen as hypocritical if the university wants to encourages green causes.

The ban on student parking on campus and the extension of the exclusion zone into the areas surrounding it, in which students cannot park, has been met with shock with students as their views and opinions have been ignored and ‘neglected’. In a year where there have been a few security issues, some students are still wary of walking home from campus. Perspective students applying for accommodation in Parkwood because of its car parking spaces are also set to lose out. However, disabled and ‘special case’ students will be considered for a parking space on an individual basis.

The Facebook group, ‘protest against the student car ban on campus’ has now attracted a staggering 1263 members and has coincided with the introduction of the union’s campaign ‘Taking the Park out of Parkwood’ which aims to thwart the university’s position at this time. The Petition has now received over 600 signatures, Kent Union will continue to collect signatures for the next week before presenting it to the University.

We will continue to update this post as events develop.

UPDATE: 20/05/08:

This morning Achike Ofodile, Union president gave an interview to Invicta FM on the parking issue as local press interest in the matter has grown. A photoshoot of students against the ban will take place at 6pm at Woodies this evening and all students who feel strongly on the issue are encouraged to attend.

Following on from this move the Union sent and open letter to local councillors asking for their support in lobbying the University against the action. The letter can be read in full at:

Please also share your opinion on the poll found at:


  • This idea is so ridiculous! I am sure everyone appreciates that the university, like to promote a ‘green’ attitude, and do not like to spoil the look of the campus, and having more cars everywhere on campus goes against this, but ignoring the fact people drive is just absurd. Coming from London, I have experienced this issue far too often. The government believe if they make traffic slower (by changing the sequence of traffic lights) and put double yellow lines/red lines everywhere, amongst other schemes, that cars are just going to disappear! This obviously is not the case.

    The car parking at the uni was insufficient for the four years I was there, and this is just making it worse! The fact that they have made this decision after people have chosen to live at Parkwood is disgusting.

    What the university need to do is build a multi-storey car park. But, instead of building up, they should build under the existing main student car park. This would increase space for students/staff/and visitors as well as not spoiling any more of the campus or getting rid of more green areas, that all students enjoy in the summer or for activities such as Artsfest. A floor or section of the underground car park could be dedicated to each group (student/staff/visitor) or what ever. To simply ignore the problem is to ignore the needs of the students. I have left the uni now, but I really hope you guys fight it and try and get them to sort something out. Throughout my time at uni, I was constantly appologising for lateness because I could not find a car park space, even if I arrived 45 minutes before a lecture! This is going to be twenty times worse, with staff not really understanding this problem, as they can park freely across the campus.

    Putting money (your money) into better public transport links is not the answer. This is not a wise investment of money. What with the cost of the visitors car park, and the fact they would be able to sell more student permits if they increased parking space in an underground car park, the facility after a few years would pretty much have paid for itself, without a constant stream of money being put into busses. Lets face it, no matter how much money you put in, they are always going to be late, or not there when you need them, and they are going to cause more havoc on Downs Road, and Tenterden Drive, than there already is with those stupid road calming measures that force drivers on to the other side of the road to get through. The university need to use the money in a more effective way.

    Considering if all the students left the university, they would be out of jobs and money, I really think they should start listening to what the students want. Everything to the university is black and white; they dont want students parking on campus, so they remove the facilities to do so. This does not mean that students are not going to bring their cars as close to campus as they possibly can, which is going to be a nightmare for the local residents, when every available space is taken by a student who does not want to walk over a mile to the university. Also, there are often occassions when students need to bring things on to campus (being a drama student, I know this all too well) and now it is virtually impossible to do that also.

    Surely they are breaking their contracts if they advertised parking to anyone who has chosen to live in Parkwood this year? I hope the existing students do not let the university get away with this. They need to think to the future, not the past. Yes, when the university was first planned, there were not as many cars on the road as they are now, but they need to move with the times. There are more cars, and if you do not give them somewhere to park, they will make somewhere to park, which is going to be more disruptive in the long run!

    By Anonymous on 30.6.2023

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  • we should threaten to boycott the national student satisfaction survey or give the uni bad ratings. this would quickly make the uni back down as the survey’s a big part of the league tables of universities so kent would move right down the rankings and no one would apply to study here.

    this would REALLY frighten the crazy management of the uni and get them to change their attitude.

    By Anonymous on 22.5.2023

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  • It is quite convenient for the university to instigate this new rule AFTER everyone has chosen accommodation. Those of us that have chosen accommodation for the coming year have often looked specifically for a location outside of the 3 mile ban in order to ensure they can use their car. Now that this ban has been extended to include more postcodes, the lack of a car will mean students will be forced to pay for a Bus pass, another £100-£200 price tag on top of the extra they are paying in their new home for a luxury car parking space, which once seemed reasonable considering the use it will get. After paying for tax, petrol, insurance, services and so on, there is little left over. Without a bus pass, long distance walking is unfavourable as most of the term time is in the winter period and walking home in the dark poses risks to each individual. Many women own the car for the simple reason of safety, as we are so often reminded of the risks of walking any where alone, even if it is only to the bus stop. Safety risks and even more expenses should not be at the cost of the student body.

    By Anonymous on 20.5.2023

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  • I think the ban is ridiculous. I will be returning in september to the university for my masters and had opted to return on the basis that i would be able to keep my car. I have two family members that live locally that suffer from disabilities which require me to go check on them sometimes in the middle of the night, it was for this reason i opted to stay back at kent, but now it seems pointless since the masters have told me that my family problems are not sufficient reason for me to have a car. I did ask whether it would be the university who would pay for my taxi to whistable at 2am when my aunt or grandmother fall unwell, or whether they would pay for my transport to go to whistable to do their shopping for them, or pay for the taxi fees of me collecting them and taking them to the canterbury hospital for check ups, however as i expected there were no comments.

    By Anonymous on 19.5.2023

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  • Turning Parkwood into a public carpark is all very well, but no-one seems to have clicked that the road system is basic at best. To pass anyone you are often forced onto the grass, and the pavements do not allow pedestrians to walk from one end to the other without having to walk along a road at some point. Previously this wasn’t too much of an issue, as the Parkwood roads are pretty quiet. But these changes will mean that there will be traffic constantly coming and going, overloading the road system and, more importantly, placing the pedestrians – people who actually LIVE in Parkwood – in greater danger. This really hasn’t been thought through.

    By B. Edwards on 16.5.2023

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  • It wouldn’t be such a bad idea if it applied equally to the staff. With an expanding University, parking becomes an increasingly acute issue. People have cars. More people mean more cars – it’s an undeniable truth. As with many modern developments, peripheral considerations are never taken into account. Parking is one of them.

    By Anonymous on 15.5.2023

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  • Possibly the most irritating thing about this is that these plans were revealed just after the time of year when most people have to renew their tenancies with their landlords – which means that those who live a good car journey away from campus have signed contracts for future accommodation without any reason to suspect that they wouldn’t be able to drive. These changes should have been made public last September.

    By J. A. Cross on 15.5.2023

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