'We feel bad for residents': Northampton university students frustrated with not being allowed to park on campus

Northampton residents may be sick of university students parking on their streets, but the students are just as tired of driving around for hours trying to find a space.

Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 5:48 pm
The University of Northampton's new Waterside campus. Photo: University of Northampton
The University of Northampton's new Waterside campus. Photo: University of Northampton

So the students on placement who need to drive to work want the University of Northampton to let them park on campus as some do not feel safe.

Reports of students being threatened by residents have made many uncomfortable with parking in the dark and having to walk to their halls of residence.

The university says it is offering a limited number of paid-for spaces for students with special consideration for those on placement from September.

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The University of Northampton's new Waterside campus. Photo: University of Northampton

But the students feel like their concerns are not being taken seriously, as Declan Ellifon, 19, said: "It's frustrating as they just don't seem to care.

"And we feel bad for the residents as they must be annoyed we are parking there.

"Some side roads have double yellow lines and it won't be long before others do and then what do we do?"

First-year midwifery student Katie Mcshane often leaves early in the morning and comes home to her flat on the Waterside campus late at night for her placement in Milton Keynes.

The 20-year-old said she needs a car as buses and trains are not an option and she cannot afford taxis - but the parking issues are causing her a lot of worry.

There are 750 parking spaces on campus and 186 rooms for placement students so the university should be able to offer more to students, Katie said.

To add insult to injury, she said they know of five students who have been given parking permits with seemingly the same circumstances as themselves.

"I honestly don't think they're going to do anything about it. We're trying to put our point forward but we're being brushed aside," she said.

"It's not just us but a lot of people have asked but we've all been pushed aside and never got back to and forgotten about. I think they're hoping we will drop it."

A university spokesman said that following a review of on-campus parking needs and student feedback, a limited number of payable student parking spaces will be available for the next academic year.

"These spaces will be allocated against strict criteria, but with additional consideration given to those students who are on placements as part of their course,” she said.

The spokesman added the decision was taken to open without student parking on the Waterside campus as the planning permission 'strictly limited' the number of parking spaces.

“As the university has settled into the new campus, there have been a number of developments to offer limited student parking. This has included weekend parking for students," she said.

"In the final term, a small number of students with extenuating circumstances have also been granted short-term, on-campus parking."