At Council on Tuesday 14th February a committee was set up to examine the possibility of improving parking facilities at UCD. This follows a feasibility report from the University which decided that the building of a multi-story car-park would not be feasible unless charging for parking was introduced across campus.
Pat de Brún, clinic President of UCDSU, disagrees with this decision, stating to the College Tribune that “personally I am against cross-campus charging”. There is no information as of yet if residence car-parks would be excluded from the potential charge.
The on-campus feeling appears to be a call for more parking spaces despite the possibility of a charge being introduced. Law with Politics student Deirdre Bonham stated she would pay for parking at UCD as there are “certain times of the day that there is no point coming into class, as there is no chance of getting a space which means missing classes”. It would also have to be below fifty euro, as Second Year Commerce student James Kelly points out that “you can get a 50 euro pay and display ticket for the year and there is almost always a pay and display spot”.
The presence of ‘Park & Riders’ is often cited as a major problem, but de Brún feels it is only “a small fraction of the overall problem”. Bonham disagrees and believes it to be a bigger problem. “I could arrive into college at 8.30 and many car parks are already full which is crazy when no class starts until 9.” Kelly agrees: “I was there at 7:30 most mornings in First Year and the car parks were about half full even at that time”. A solution put forward by de Brún is “using the UCard system to introduce barriers at the entrances of car parks to alleviate the park & ride problem”. However, he points out that “the costs & feasibility of it would need to be carefully examined.”
De Brún recognises that there is a problem with parking on campus, but he doesn’t see an easy solution. “We have far more drivers & cars on campus than there are spaces available…whatever happens, I don’t see the parking problem ever being really fixed. I believe the only solution long-term is a move towards better public transport & cycling facilities.” Furthermore, he says, “there are more buildings planned for the campus…and the fact that students numbers are growing year on year only exacerbates this problem.”
There are two proposed parking facilities, one near to the N11 and one near the Clonskeagh entrance.