Parking Ban – Open Letter Sent To Councillors

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By website-editor on 20.5.2023

Parking Ban – Open Letter Sent To Councillors

Dear Local Councillor,

I am writing to inform you of a decision that the University of Kent recently announced regarding student parking on the Canterbury campus. On March 3rd 2008 the University announced that the criteria on which parking permits are distributed to students will change as of September 2008; the criteria will be based upon residents’ post code rather than the distance they live from campus. The amendment to the criteria will impact on a huge number of students: the exclusion zone will span as far away as CT1 3** and CT2 8** (at present it is a 1 mile radius from the Canterbury campus). The University will also ban students living on the Parkwood site from bringing cars to their accommodation, which will effect up to 421 students. As well as the negative impact this will have on the student population, the local community will also experience the negative effects for several reasons outlined below. As a representative of the student body I appeal for your support on this matter and ask that you join the student population in lobbying the University to reconsider their decision.

The vast number of students looking for accommodation for the 2008/09 academic year had already secured a contract before the decision was made to alter the exclusion zone. The previous exclusion zone will have been a deciding factor in where students chose to live and many will have chosen to live a little further away in order that they could receive a parking permit. This means that from September a large number of students expecting to be able to drive to, and park their car on campus will not be permitted to do so. It is anticipated that this will lead to a sharp increase in the number of cars which are parked in streets near to the campus and indeed further away in areas where student live.

The University has stated that its ongoing green travel initiative is the catalyst for this change; however, there do not seem to be any current plans to implement more efficient public transport services for those students living in the excluded postcodes. For the majority of students the new exclusion zone will mean that they have to travel on two buses each day, to reach campus. This will have a financial implication for students as well as more practical issues. There are currently no cycle paths through the campus or on the ring roads surrounding the city which would put students at risk if they cycle to and around campus. Relating to student safety, Kent Union is concerned that the initiative could increase the number of students walking alone at night, especially in the winter months, when they are returning home from lectures along poorly lit roads

Patrick Gallagher (Chair of the Downs Rd Residents Association & Neighbourhood Watch Scheme) notes that, “We and other residential areas, close to the University have witnessed a huge increase in non-residents parking in roads close to the University. This has become a real point of contention for residents (both permanent residents and students living in these areas) who, as a result, have lost their usual parking places. This is particularly an issue for people with various disabilities and the elderly. Some areas, such as Downs Rd, have even had to have sections of the road yellow lined to prevent excessive parking from causing the roads to become blocked at certain times of the day.” Kent Union has no wish to put additional pressure on the local residents’ traffic situations. Kent Union is concerned that the impact of the changes to the exclusion zone and indeed the banning of student residents parking in Parkwood would cause tension between students and the local community. The University has already advised students who have enquired about parking next year that if they are unsuccessful in obtaining a University of Kent parking permit then they can park in nearby residential areas.

Indeed, the problem will only be exacerbated as of September 2008 when the new policy is introduced. Kent Union is appealing to you, as a representative of you constituency, to raise this issue with the University. Please encourage them to defer this decision until all students are able to take into consideration the correct exclusion zones when finding accommodation off campus. Furthermore, please promote and support the development of sustainable transport links between the University and residential areas which are densely populated with students.

Yours Sincerely

Achike Ofodile (Kent Union President 2007/08)



Comments

  • Good comment peeayeooh, this is typical of the attitude of students today. Hardly anyone cares about environmental or human rights issues, even universities investing in the arms trade, but as soon as their parking rights are restricted they are quick to action. I even know people who live at the bottom of the eliot footpath and drive up!

    By Eco Barry on 30.5.2023

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  • yes, but that isn’t the point, the point is the university took action without consulting the union.

    By events-editor on 29.5.2023

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  • Of course you could walk to campus, a mile is hardly far and the exercise will actually do you some good.

    By peeayeooh on 28.5.2023

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