Students Staff

8 October 2020

Parking at our Colchester Campus

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 10:02 am

Iain Farquharson is our Sustainability (Energy and Transport) Manager.  We caught up with him to find out more about the changes that we’re making to parking and parking permits at our Colchester Campus.

Iain Farquharson

Iain Farquharson

What changes can we expect to the way we park this year?

Parking on campus should look and feel fairly normal. We’re going to be closely monitoring demand in the autumn term and we may close some car parks if they’re not required, but we’ll let people know before we do take the decision to close any car parks.

If you’re already coming onto campus, you will have noticed that our Overflow Car Park is already closed and is currently being used as the COVID-19 testing centre at our Colchester Campus.

However, we have made some changes to take into account the impact of COVID-19 on the way we’re working and to simplify our permits so we can keep things as flexible as possible

Can you tell us a bit more about the new permits you’ve introduced and how they work?

Our aim this year is to make sure people feel they have simple options to choose from, so we’ve given people two different options to pay for their parking with our new permits. The first option is an annual permit which is designed for people who are going to be on campus regularly, and the second is a general permit for people who are unsure about how often they’ll need to park.

You’ll still need to pay a registration fee which is calculated at 0.16% of your salary, so it’s different for everyone according to how much they earn. Annual permit holders will then pay a fixed amount of £62.31 for parking for the year, or a pro-rata amount if your contract is part-time, which will be deducted from your salary monthly. General permit holders will pay a daily charge each time they park. The minimum stay is 4 hours, which will cost you 32p and longer stays are available in one hour increments.

Permit fees, excluding registration fees, are being discounted by 33% for this academic year, in acknowledgement of the uncertainties we all face in our work patterns. We’ve also removed our occasional user permit as part of simplification improvements.

What’s the cheapest option for someone who used to pay as an “occasional user”?

Our general permit offers flexibility for those that are unsure how many days they are going to be on campus. It offers drivers the same flexibility to select which days they park and for how long. To take up the general permit, you’ll also need to pay a registration fee. For most people this equates to around £3 to £7 per month. On top of this, they’d pay 8p an hour to park with a minimum charge of 4 hours at 32p. To stay for a full day it’s just 56p.

Using an example of an occasional user driving on to campus 5 days over a month, they would have paid £10.50 with the Occasional Permit. The General Permit this year equates to somewhere between £5.80 to £9.80 depending on salary.

What about the way we pay for our parking? Is that changing at all?

 Staff can still register their vehicles and pay for their permits on our staff directory.

However, for the new academic year we are introducing a cashless payment system for those who choose to pay each time they visit, which will mean no queuing at pay stations and no touch screens. This was always something we wanted to do, but considerations around COVID-19 meant it was important to introduce it this year.  Staff and students can now pay directly though our new payment app, which means they can pay while walking to their office or place of study, or when they reach their desk or computer.

To use our cashless parking system, you will either need to download the app or log on via a web browser to make your payment. You can also create an account if you want to.

Have you got any update for people who paid for parking last year, but found themselves unable to come onto campus?

Yes. Because the majority of staff and students could not visit campus during the Advanced Protection measures, we’re really happy to be able to refund parking permit charges, excluding registration fees, for the period from April to September

Refunds will be processed by the end of November and payments will be made back into the accounts from which payments were made.

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