Car park changes at Gilmorehill

Car park changes at Gilmorehill

Issued: Tue, 11 Jul 2017 08:30:00 BST

Changes are being proposed to car parking arrangements on Gilmorehill. The process will create a new, fairer and more transparent system to the allocation of car parking permits. The Chief Operating Officer Dr David Duncan outlined the reasons behind the proposals.

Car parking changes 

Full details on the proposed changes can be found at: Parking Permit Information 

Comments, feedback and questions from staff and students on any issues relating to the changes should be sent to CarParking@glasgow.ac.uk 

The proposed timescale is as follows:

  • 1st Consultation on principles of the scheme – July 2017
  • New parking charges apply at Gilmorehill and Tay House - from 1 October 2017
  • Finalised draft scheme - by end October 2017
  • 2nd consultation on proposed scheme – November-December 2017
  • Applications for new scheme – January-February 2018
  • Closure of existing scheme - 31 March 2018
  • Launch of new scheme - 1 April 2018

Why is Change needed?

Car parking management, the permit scheme and vehicle enforcement at the University of Glasgow are under review.  There are several reasons for this:

  1. The Gilmorehill campus will undergo significant change over the next 5 to 10 years with intensified contractor activity during the delivery of major construction works.  We need clear policies and regulations around vehicle management and enforcement during this period.
  2. The pressure for parking spaces is intensifying at Gilmorehill; we need to optimise use of the limited number of spaces we have on campus.
  3. The current permit scheme has been in place for a considerable time without any significant review.   Some members of staff have held permits since the early 1970s, while more recent members of staff have not had an opportunity to apply for a permit.  We want to put policies in place that are as fair as possible to all members of staff, taking into account their personal circumstances.
  4. Changes to Salary Sacrifice schemes announced by the Chancellor in 2016 mean that the Parking Plus (Salary Sacrifice) will be closed to new entrants from 6 April 2018.  We believe this is an opportune date to introduce new parking arrangements on the campus. 

The Car Parking Working Group has been considering the method of allocating permits following an initial baseline review led by external consultants.  We think the best way forward is a criteria-based system to ensure those with the greatest need can access a permit.   The type of permits and renewal process of permits are also part of the review. 

Supply & Demand of Parking

At Gilmorehill, there are just over 1000 car parking spaces in a mix of car parks, unclassified parking and on-street parking.  While we are committed to doing everything we can to maximise the number of available spaces (including exploring the scope for multi-level parking), the supply of parking spaces is expected to decrease over the next decade as the campus development is delivered.

At Garscube, there are just under 500 permits issued.  The last parking survey would suggest that even at peak times, the parking does not reach full capacity and there is sufficient supply to meet a modest increase in demand at Garscube.

At Tay House, the University has access to 13 spaces within the building and we have negotiated use of just under 40 spaces at car parks a short walk from Tay House.    

Key Principles

The Car Parking Working Group proposes to develop a new policy based on the following principles:

Principle 1: Fairness

We plan to allocate permits to those with the greatest need by assessing applications against agreed criteria.   The criteria will be based on the principles of fairness and equality.

Possible criteria include:

  1. Disability
  2. Business Need
  3. Alternative Travel Options
  4. Exceptional circumstances
  5. Caring responsibilities

Principle 2: Annual renewal of permits

Currently permits have been issued on a lifetime basis and are only surrendered if members choose to give them up or when they leave the University.  Whilst this minimises the administrative burden it does not take into account changes in individual circumstances or changes in business needs.   It is also unfair to newer members of staff. 

Under the new system, applicants would be required to re-apply for a permit each year.  This will mean that an individual’s changing circumstances can be considered or re-considered and any significant changes to the campus (such as an overall decrease in parking spaces) can be taken into account with a more responsive scheme. 

Principle 3: Realistic charges

The current cost of permits is low compared to other employers and effectively acts as a disincentive to use public transport.  In order to bring the cost more in line with peer institutions, we will increase the cost of staff permits at Gilmorehill and Tay House by £40 effective from 1 October 2017.  We do not propose to increase permit costs at Garscube, where pressure on spaces is not as great and where there is a concern about displacement of staff parking into neighbouring residential areas. 

Principle 4: Eligibility of students

Given the pressure on spaces at Gilmorehill, the Car Parking Working Group feels that permits should only be issued to students in exceptional circumstances.  Blue badge holders would automatically be eligible and there will be provision for temporary mobility issues to be taken into consideration. 

Principle 5: Facilitating irregular car usage

We would like to make it easier for staff to vary their mode of transport (for example by using public transport on most days and using their private cars occasionally).  To this end, we are investigating the introduction of different permit types including flexible permits, pay and display or scratch card permits.

Principle 6: Encouraging alternative means of transport

We want to make the use of alternative means of transport as easy as possible.  To this end, we will:

  • Continue the Cycle Plus scheme, which helps staff pay for a bike and related cycling equipment for those wishing to try active travel.
  •  Aim to increase the quantity and quality of cycle parking/showers/lockers etc and continue offering cycle initiatives including Dr Bike and membership to the city NextBike hire scheme.
  • Investigate the possibility of offering interest free loans for staff who wish to purchase public transport season tickets/zone cards.
  • Continue discussions with local public transport providers about ways of improving routes to and from the campuses.
  •  Consider the scope for running dedicated park and ride facilities for members of staff.
  •  Encourage flexible working hours, to make it easier for staff to travel to work by public transport or, where practical, to work from home.

Principle 7: Enforcement

A new enforcement regime will be necessary to allow effective management of the permit scheme and prevent abuse or repeated offences.  Parking Charge Notices will be used as a mechanism to manage and implement vehicle regulations.

Principle 8: Courtesy and ease of use

We want to make the new system as easy and pleasant to use as possible.  With this in mind, we are in discussion with external companies that can facilitate the whole process.  At the same time, we will ensure that staff handling car parking arrangements are fully trained and supported.

A corollary to this is that we expect all members of staff to treat their colleagues who work in this area with courtesy and respect at all times.

Delivering a new Permit and Car Parking Management Scheme

The following matters will form part of the process:

  • An Equality Impact Assessment will be carried out
  • Consultation with staff
  • Consultation with student representatives
  • Increase awareness of alternative forms of travel and promotion of the JourneyShare scheme
  • Staff will be encouraged to seek a Personal Travel Plan to help them understand their travel options