SIPTU have requested a hearing in the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) over plans to introduce paid parking across UCD campuses

The proposal would see paid parking introduced on both the Belfield and Blackrock campuses.

UCD Director of Capital Services Eamonn Ceannt stated that UCD planned to introduce charges across all campuses from this month in a letter sent to unions in February.

Currently there are a number of large free car parks on campus.

This model would see a change in the way parking is managed on campus with students and staff left with no option but to pay for parking.  The proposal would see the annual cost of parking set at €315 for students and €577.50 for staff, according to a document sent to unions this Summer.

UCD staff called on the university to maintain free – parking on campus at a protest outside the new student centre on the 25th of June.  The protest was organised by SIPTU and IFUT to coincide with a UCD Governing Authority meeting.

Planning permission is still in place for a multi-storey car park and commuting facility on a site close to the tennis courts near the Clonskeagh entrance.

Speaking to the College Tribune UCDSU President Mícheál Gallagher said that the “Students’ Union is not in favour of charges until the new commuting facilities are actually in place and on the basis that more spaces will be available. At that stage it would be clear to students what they were being asked to pay for and what would be available to them. Charges should be eliminated when the new facilities have been paid for.”

“UCD permits should be issued immediately to staff and students in order to eliminate the use of Belfield as a park and ride facility by members of the public,” he added.

A date has yet to be set for the hearing of SIPTU’s case at the LRC.

Ronan Coveney