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Staff and students condemn ‘greedy’ 440 per cent parking fee hike

Petition says University of Plymouth proposal would increase monthly prices from ?12.50 to ?67.50

June 10, 2024
Full car park

A 440 per cent proposed increase of parking fees at a University of Plymouth building has provoked outrage among students and staff and been criticised as “unthinkably greedy”.

?calling for the university to reconsider its decision to raise car parking fees at the John Bull Building (JBB) and Derriford Research Facility (DRF).

Set to begin in August, the proposal would?raise prices from ?12.50 to ?67.50 per month – a 440 per cent increase, according to the petition. In addition, fees are set to rise again to ?85 per month by August 2025, which would be almost 50 times higher than the current rates.

A coalition of JBB and DRF staff and PhD students, who started the petition, have urged Plymouth to reconsider the decision and “implement a more equitable solution that supports our hardworking staff and students”.

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“This increase will disproportionately affect those who rely on their vehicles to commute to work and have a negative impact on staff and student morale during already challenging times,” they add.

“This will undoubtedly contribute to staff/student recruitment and retention going forward.”

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Some staff and students also raised concerns around the lack of a consultation period, the infrequent and unreliable public transport if they can no longer afford to drive to work, and that childcare will become more difficult as a result.

Located four miles north of the main campus near Derriford Hospital, the JBB is home to a number of research laboratories and clinical skills resources, plus seminar and meeting rooms.

One supporter of the petition, David Parkinson, said the price rise was “ridiculous”, adding: “This site is not in the middle of the city and otherwise has poor transport links; for lots of students and people working here, driving is the only option.”

Others said the increase would particularly affect PhD students and researchers, many of whom drive to the site from rural areas, and questioned the effect it would have on staff morale.

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Richard Anderson said: “A 540 per cent flat increase is unthinkably greedy, and shows a lack of understanding or care toward the members of staff who cannot afford a ?70 per month subscription just to park at work.

“Bus travel is unaffordable and unreliable, punishing staff who chose to drive is not the solution.”

The University of Plymouth declined to comment.

patrick.jack@timeshighereducation.com

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Reader's comments (1)

Happening at other universities. With train tickets costing the earth yet either late or cancelled, bus and coach fares rising, it is no wonder students and staff are forced to drive to work. Then they are hammered with the high cost of parking and for many, paying for accommodation. Soon, we shall spend all our money getting to work (some are already at 40% of the salary going to travel and accommodation).

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