Matt Auden

Vice President Welfare

m.auden@northumbria.ac.uk

Coach Lane Car Parking Update

The university has recently announced changes to how they will administer car parking permits at both City and Coach Lane Campuses. You can find out the specifics here but the main changes include the compulsary purchasing of a 12 month permit at £150 in order to use the Pay and Display system - or alternativey students can pay double the current £1.50 charge per day and park daily for £3 without a permit.

I'd like to take the opportunity to state the Students' Union's position on this.

First and foremost, the university did not consult with the Students' Union regarding this issue which did not give us the opportunity to contest these changes earlier. From discussions with the University we have been told that the justification behind the £150 permit is that, in doing so, the prices of daily Pay and Display will stay at £1.50 in line with previous years. 

As a representative organisation for the student body we feel that these changes will have an unfair and negative impact on students studying at Coach Lane. As a predominately healthcare course based campus many students at Coach Lane are on placement during irregular times over the academic year and therefore will be paying for priviliege (of being able to pay daily) for car parking whilst on placement off campus. 

Further to this, with the removal of NHS Bursaries students studying healthcare subjects are in a worse financial position than ever before. Research conducted by London Economics showed that under the new system that over a three year full-time undergraduate degree in health, the average non-repayable maintenance grant and allowances received by students as part of the NHS Bursary in Allied Health Professions will decline from £7,857 to zero.

In essence, we feel that insisting students pay an additional £150 on top of daily rates or doubling the daily rate are both unacceptable. As stated by many students in the feedback we have received so far, the provision of car parking at the campus is already strained and despite purchasing a permit there is no guarentee that a student will be able to find a space to park.

The Students' Union has presented student feedback to Campus Services and will continue to engage in open dialogue with relevant university staff until a resolution is met, we will keep students informed at every stage of the process.

I would like to thank the students who have got in touch with their feedback and encourage any further comments to be directed to myself at m.auden@northumbria.ac.uk.

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