Car Parking Arrangements

  1. The following paper sets out the arrangements the University will be adopting for car parking from 1 April 2011.
  2. The new arrangements have been formulated in response to two developments. The first is a 360% increase in the annual charges we must pay to Kirklees Council to lease the St Andrews’ Road car park which provides us with 40% of our available car parking spaces. The second is the response received from colleagues following a university-wide consultation on proposed car parking arrangements.
  3. Following the increase in the cost of leasing the St Andrews Car Park the University looked for but was unable to secure an alternative site. We therefore face a simple choice. We either withdraw the St Andrews provision or pay the increase in costs. This has not been an easy decision. In the current economic climate we cannot pay any increase in costs from money we get from students for teaching. Quite simply, asking students to subsidise staff car parking from their own pocket is not right. But, alternatively, closing the car park would seriously inconvenience many colleagues for whom driving is the most convenient and least difficult way of getting to work. The consultation suggests that three quarters of staff would prefer to pay for university car parking rather than seek a private alternative. This has led us to the view that we should maintain the lease at St Andrews Road and to bring in charges for car parking.
  4. Our aim is to cover the costs of providing parking, so that there is no subsidy to staff from students, and also to try to provide a service which is cheaper and more convenient for staff than private providers or the local Council. This rules out us asking a  third party to manage car parking for us, and in investing capital in developing additional car parking spaces or building a car park. Having looked carefully at the costs of putting in metered parking, which involves investing in ticketing systems, barrier systems, maintenance, security, and additional staffing to manage the accounting system, we have also ruled out using meters or barriers which would drive up the cost of providing parking and make it less cheap than private provision.
  5. In trying to reach a solution to providing cost effective and convenient parking we also have to recognise a number of difficult problems. The first is that we have less car parking spaces than people who wish to use them. Whatever system we put in place there will always be colleagues who are disappointed or who feel disadvantaged. The present system, for instance, is “first come first served” and many colleagues have indicated they feel this is the only fair way to allocate spaces. Nevertheless, colleagues who do not need to be at work before 9am say they sometimes cannot find a place to park when they need one, and others have complained that if they need to leave the campus on business they cannot find a space on their return. They consider this unfair. The second is that one in four of our colleagues work  part- time, and do not use a space 8 hours a day 5 days a week, so patterns of demand fluctuate. As colleagues have pointed out in the consultation, allocating fixed bays to individuals could therefore lead to inefficiencies and empty spaces. The third is that fixed costs for spaces could lead to perceived unfairness where car parking costs take up a higher proportion of the salary of those staff working part time or who are on low incomes.
  6. The arrangements set out below try to address these issues.

  7. Types of Bay

There will be five types of bay:

  • 23 named reserved bays which currently exist and which are paid for by current holders.
  • 280 fixed bays largely on the main Queensgate campus.
  • 250 bays which are allocated on a first come first served basis at St Andrews Road.
  • Bays reserved for blue badge holders.
  • Bays reserved for visitors, drop-off/pick-up and delivery/maintenance work.

     8.  Allocation of Bays

The bays will be allocated under the following terms:

  • Access to any bay at any time will require a permit.
  • There will be 3 types of permit. 1. A permit for named reserved bays. 2. A permit for fixed bays on campus. 3. A permit which gives a licence to hunt at St Andrews Road. Permits 2-3 will be allocated by lottery. The lottery will next be repeated when the lease at St Andrews Road is renegotiated, or when other major changes to car parking provision may increase or decrease the number of available spaces. Colleagues who are unable to secure a permit will be placed on a waiting list where the position on the list will be drawn through the same lottery. As permits are handed in or withdrawn colleagues on the list will be allocated the vacant permit in strict numerical order.
  • The permits for named reserved bays are for exclusive use at any time of the day or week.
  • The permits for reserved bays and licence to hunt are for the period 8.15-5.15 Monday to Friday. Outside these hours the bays may be used by other  staff and students if they are vacant.
  • Colleagues with a licence to hunt permit are not guaranteed a space and may not always be able to find one.
  • Colleagues who have licence to hunt permits may take up fixed bays on campus which are free in “out of hours” periods.
  • University car parking facilities will be available at weekends on a licence to hunt basis All car parks on campus will be closed during open days and special events. Colleagues will be given notice of closure and be required to make alternative arrangements. St Andrews Road will remain open for colleagues on a licence to hunt basis available to all permit holders.
  • The CAB car park will be reserved for hire cars, visitors and short collection and drop off stays. These can be booked by arrangement with security.
  • Colleagues who travel to work by cycle or motorcycle may use the current bays for these purposes free of charge.
  • Where the use of a permit is abused it will be withdrawn immediately.

     9.  Cost of Bays 

  • Named reserved bays £960. Charge taken from salary at £80 per month.
  • Fixed bays £720. Charge taken from salary at £60 per month or pro-rata (see below).
  • Licence to Hunt £240. Charge taken from salary at £20 per month or pro-rata (see below).
  • Out of hours pass free of charge.
  • Blue badge passes free of charge.

    10.  Sharing of Bays

In the consultation colleagues raised two important issues about relative cost of bays, and about ensuring bays were used to their full effect. We would like to try to develop a bay sharing system. It would have three components:

  • For fixed bays.  Colleagues who are willing to make a joint application for a bay may also take part in the lottery These applications could be made by people who have identified compatible working patterns, or by individuals who are willing to identify working their working patterns and to be paired with another colleague. The cost of these bays could then be shared pro –rata. The University will establish a system for staff to identify compatible bay share partners.
  • For licence to hunt, the critical issue is that we issue enough passes to allow as many colleagues as possible to use the service, but also to ensure that large numbers of colleagues are not left without a space at any one time. During the application process we will reserve 25%( 62) of the permits for colleagues who work part time. Colleagues may apply jointly where they feel they work compatible hours. We would also like colleagues to identify their working hours when applying so that we can maximise the number of permits we give out, and minimise the likelihood of over- crowding. Colleagues will be charged pro-rata to their work hours. A colleague who works full time will be charged £240 a year, and one who works 50% £120 per year.
  • All colleagues who have paid for a fixed or reserved bay will be given two passes so that they may arrange to loan their bay to other staff when they are not using it, should they wish to do so.


    11. Other issues

  • Fixed bays. Over the next three years the University will be investing in the campus to maximise our ability to recruit students under the new fee regime. Work will disrupt some of the parking arrangements. Colleagues who pay for fixed bays may be required to change the location of their bay as work progresses.
  • St Andrews Road. We have made representation to the Council for some remedial work to be done to the car park. In the meantime we will take some action to fill in the worst surface defects subject to landlord’s approval.


   12.  Summary

  • The University intends to meet the rising cost of providing car parking by introducing charges for users. It is doing this to maintain a car parking service without asking students to subsidise staff car parking.
  • The University wishes to provide a service at cost of delivery and to offer staff a cheaper service than other local providers.
  • The University recognises that to provide an equitable and fair service steps need to be taken to reduce the cost of provision for staff who work part time and who are on low salaries. It has therefore retained an element of “right to hunt” at a lower cost than fixed bays and has made some provision for reducing costs through pro rata charges, and for sharing bays.
  • It is of course impossible to create a system in which all users are satisfied all of the time, but I hope colleagues will feel their ideas and concerns have been heard and where possible acted upon.


    13.  Next steps

  • The new system will be active from 1 April 2011.
  • Applications for permits will be issued on 1 February 2011.
  • The lottery will be drawn on 1 March 2011.


Professor Peter Slee