Commuting students received a blow this week after Staffordshire University announced that the Brindley car park at their Leek Road campus would be closed from Friday October 12.
The announcement follows a series of complaints from students after an event last week led to some car parks being cordoned off, while others operated a one-in, one-out policy.
Law student Justine Holt is one of many who drive to her studies at the Stoke-on-Trent campus.
She said: “The university car park is already oversubscribed and is going to be further exacerbated by the closure of Brindley car park. Offering alternatives so far off campus is not practical as they are so far away.
“Perhaps students should have been made aware of the closure before they purchased their permits so that those who could travel by train or other means could have given this consideration.”
Fellow student Owen Rutter added: “The university should have looked at providing temporary parking somewhere close while Brindley is closed. It is going to impact the parking situation drastically.
“I have been at Staffordshire University for three years now and the parking just gets worse every year.
“It seems that the price of permits increases yearly yet parking disappears at the same time.
“Sometimes I don’t have lectures until noon but I have to get to uni for 8.30am just to get a space on the car park.
“We are paying more than £9,000 a year for the university to provide inadequate parking for students.”
A spokesperson for the university released a statement to StaffsLive earlier today, regarding the car park closure.
“Students were given advance notice of the car park closure in the Student Newsletter and on the MyStaffsUni app.
“To compensate for this temporary closure – which will be used as a contractors’ compound to facilitate the demolition of Brindley and the building of the new £40m Catalyst building – we have now secured 100 additional car parking places on the council-run Wharf Place car park, just a few minutes’ walk from campus.
“This is a tarmac-surface open car park with street lighting and is barrier accessed.
“Staffordshire University permit holders can begin using the car park from Monday October 15.”
“We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by this temporary loss of car parking on campus but would like to remind students that we have car parking near our Clarice Cliff Halls of Residence, accessible from Lordship Lane, and students and staff displaying a valid permit in their vehicles are also permitted to use the car parks at nearby Fenton Manor, accessible from Victoria Road and City Road.”
Some students have claimed that they have to get to the university a lot earlier than their classes begin just to get a space.
Hannah McNamara said: “The only time I can park straight away is on a Friday if I am there for 8.15am at the latest. On Mondays I have to get there for 8am.”
The university has not yet released a date for when the car park will re-open, leaving many students worrying about parking for the foreseeable future.
Owen Rutter added: “Once Brindley car park closes it will be chaos.”
The university’s Stafford campus has also received some backlash regarding car park facilities.
Nursing student Danielle Williams said: “The parking is poor. In the past year, it has just been getting worse.
“The university Medical School has no more than 180 spaces.
“When we are all in lectures and I hit some traffic on my way, I have to park on another car park putting an extra half an hour onto my journey.
“This means that I miss the start of my lecture.
“It happens to a lot of people and it’s impossible to set off any earlier when we travel from such long distances.”
Martin Fiddler, of the University and College Union (UCU), said: “We are aware of parking difficulty at peak times and work with management on an ongoing basis to try to improve matters.
“The closure of part of a car park isn’t welcome, but it’s understood that the Brindley contractors have to be based nearby.
“We sympathise with student concerns, especially when coming in for mid or late morning lectures, when it is hardest to park.”