October 12, 2005

More ways to demoralise Westwood staff

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

My email response to the plan to make car park 13 no longer free. Call it an open letter.

Hi, I'm writing in response to your request for feedback on the 'Green Travel Plan'.

Your plan includes making car park 13 pay-on-foot, which I guess would be a reduction of about 90% of the free parking on Westwood campus. You assert that CP13 being free causes problems, but given that it remains almost empty in the undergraduate vacations, I would suggest that it is allowing students to use it for free which causes problems.

Many staff at Westwood require somewhere to park (just as we require somewhere to buy our lunch). I approve of the green travel plan encouraging the use of buses and bicycles but I live in North Warwickshire, so neither of these is a realistic option for me. Can I suggest that, better than heavy-handed blanket measures such as these, a sensible Green Travel Plan would take circumstances into account. Most students live within a few miles of campus so why not eliminate free parking for them, while issuing free parking permits to staff? Or you could consider issuing free permits to staff who live in postcodes not adjacent to the University – this would be fair without being a huge administrative burden.

I'm personally not prepared to pay for car parking; and given that public street parking is plentiful very close to Westwood campus, I know I'm not the only one of my colleagues here who would prefer reliable free parking and a short walk over the hassle of driving around main campus looking for a possible parking space followed by anything up to 20 minutes' walk to and from work.

Thank you for giving staff the opportunity to give feedback before a decision is made (in contrast with the decisions on Westwood restaurant)!

- 7 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. Good response and good idea.

    12 Oct 2005, 17:04

  2. Chris May

    I'm not really qualified to comment on this, since I remain (for the most part) blissfully immune the the struggles that you drivers go through each morning. But one thing did strike me about your suggestion:

    Or you could consider issuing free permits to staff who live in postcodes not adjacent to the University

    In the long term, there's an argument that says this is doing exactly the wrong thing – incentivising staff to live in places where there's no alternative but to drive to work. If the university were acting in the best interests of the environment, perhaps it should be working hard to encourage staff to live in places where they can walk/cycle/bus to work, not drive.

    Of course, in the short term such a strategy would be pretty stupid, since lots of staff (like yourself) are already in a position where they need to use a car, and moving house is a rather drastic step to have to take.
    Nevertheless, I think that if the university were to state an aim or a desire to increase the percentage of it's workforce that lived within non-driving range of the uni, that would be a good thing.

    Incidentally, how far out would you draw the line that says 'It's OK to drive from here' ? Personally, I'd put it somewhere around 15–20 miles away, with a waiver if you've got kids to bring in or you're over the age of 55 (apologies to the grey-haired roadie who occasionally bikes past me on a morning!). But I'm sure some people would consider even leaminton too far to travel from by any means other than their cars.

    12 Oct 2005, 20:24

  3. Leamington has the Unibus service which is reasonably regular, as long as they find the double deckers they are meant to run on it rather than sending a single decker around at 8:30am which is full by the time it has reached North Lem!

    12 Oct 2005, 23:58

  4. Chris, I'm not sure how I'd draw the line, but I'd want to take terrain into account.

    I enjoy a bike ride but I don't cycle to work primarly because of two things: the fact that I live on the opposite side of Coventry, meaning that the whole journey would be through city streets, and the fact that where I live is a lot higher up, giving me a tough ride home at the end of the day.

    I take your point about not wanting to give an incentive for living further away, but I suspect that (unlike most students, who mostly rent) most staff have a variety of other constraints in choosing where to buy a house, including where a partner works, schools etc compared to which parking issues play a fairly small role.

    13 Oct 2005, 10:28

  5. I live in Earlsdon. I can drive, but haven't since I came to University here in 1990 (I never left – Year 15 now). I chose to live there because it was convenient for work, but the downside is I don't have a nice garden, I'd only have on street parking if I bought a car, and during term time I suffer the nightmare of getting buses from Hearsall Common which are full by the time they get there. 20 minutes walk to and from work? How about 20 minutes standing outside a leaking bus shelter waiting for the next bus to arrive, hoping it isn't full, in the rain.

    This week has reminded me why, exactly, I bought a bicycle almost this time last week. It may even spur me to get back on the damn thing, despite the fact that the roads around here are filled with psychotic drivers after about 7:30am in the morning.

    My beef over this is that once again (as is the case with every single thing ever done in this country about transport) the great big stick is wielded against private transport before anything is done to the stinking mouldy carrot which is the public transport system. Travel West Midlands are a hideous joke and I AM NOT LAUGHING.

    Frankly, if reducing free car parking spaces is going to put more people on the buses, then please don't. They are bad enough as it is for those of us who need them at the moment.

    (This I think makes me agree with you in a kinda ironic away, Jon!)

    14 Oct 2005, 12:29

  6. There's very little free parking on the rest of campus, so why should westwood be treated favourably? Personally, I feel that all free parking should be removed, and the day rate increased – that makes it i) fair, and ii) less attractive to drive on to campus. If you don't believe that paying essentially a token fee for parking is worth it, then that's your choice.

    15 Oct 2005, 18:00

  7. It is indeed. And when I look out of the nearest window at work, I see Charter Avenue, where parking is free. Why should i pay hundreds of pounds to park on campus, let alone thousands of pounds to move to somwhere that has more than 4 buses a day?

    I mentioned Westwood specifically because there are more free car parks on main campus, and a great deal of free off-campus parking right next to Westwood. So the situation at Westwood is slightly different. Nevertheless I do not propose treating Westwood differently and intended my suggestions to apply to all campuses.

    16 Oct 2005, 10:51

Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.

October 2005

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Sep |  Today  | Nov
               1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Search this blog



Most recent comments

  • Good luck, Jon. Thanks for your helps in the past 3 years. by Hongfeng Sun on this entry
  • Good luck in the future by Mathew Mannion on this entry
  • It is indeed. And when I look out of the nearest window at work, I see Charter Avenue, where parking… by on this entry
  • There's very little free parking on the rest of campus, so why should westwood be treated favourably… by on this entry
  • I live in Earlsdon. I can drive, but haven't since I came to University here in 1990 (I never left –… by on this entry

Blog archive

Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder