Wolverhampton University under fire over staff parking plan - including at Telford campus
The University of Wolverhampton is planning to charge staff for car parking under a new “sustainable” transport strategy.
Bosses want to introduce charges on staff car parks at all university sites, including its campus in Telford.
It is part of plans to encourage staff to use other ways of getting to work, such as walking, cycling and public transport.
The plans, which are currently out for consultation, could also see the removal of a number of disabled and assisted parking bays for students.
The move has sparked anger, with one staff member claiming that workers were being made victims of a push to cut costs.
The university has a major campus at Priorslee in Telford as well as sites in Wolverhampton, Stafford, Burton upon Trent, Stafford and Dudley.
University spokesman James Allen said the university had published a five-year sustainable transport strategy in a bid to “improve travel and transport options for staff, students and visitors across its sites”.
He added: “The strategy aims to minimise the travel and transport impact of the university whilst ensuring staff, student and visitor journeys to campuses are convenient, sustainable and affordable.
“A central part of the strategy is to promote and facilitate the trial and continued use of sustainable travel modes, as well as ensuring adequate provision where there is no alternative to driving.
“This includes looking at the provision of walking and cycling facilities, working with public transport providers to improve ticketing advice and to investigate ticketing offers for staff and students, a sustainable car share scheme and working with local councils to promote existing walking and cycling routes to campuses.
“As part of the strategy, we are currently consulting with staff and students on parking provision across our sites in a bid to make it more equitable.”
Catherine Lamond, chair of the University and College Union’s negotiating committee, said: “The university needs to realise that in many cases people took jobs thinking they could drive. Some staff live a long way away and may have to work across campuses. In Walsall the campus is a long way from the railway station and some staff work in Burton upon Trent.“The university telling staff who live 30 miles away that it would be a good idea to walk to work is not very helpful.
“The UCU is fully supportive of efforts to be sustainable, but the university needs to understand and address the difficulties that this will cause for people.”
One staff member, who asked not to be named, said the move was a result of the university’s need to cut costs.
“Staff morale is rock bottom,” the staff member added.