Report of the Car Parking and Transport Policy Working Party - (2) to No 4512



<br /> Oxford University Gazette: Report on Car Parking (supplement)

Oxford University Gazette

Report of the Car Parking and Transport Policy Working Party

Supplement (2) to Gazette No. 4512

Wednesday, 26 May 1999

|
To Gazette No. 4513 (27
May 1999)
| To
Gazette Home Page

|



Contents of the supplement:




Introduction

1. This report has been prepared by a working party which was
established by Council and the General Board in Michaelmas Term 1998. The
working party was asked to review the University's approach to car parking
and associated issues. There were a number of factors which led to the
establishment of the working party and these are described in para. 5 below.
Having conducted its review, the working party is clear that the current car
parking arrangements, whereby members of the University are able with ease
to obtain a permit to enable them to look for a car parking space in
designated areas around the University's Science Area, cannot continue. In the
light of consultations with staff representatives, and representatives of
external bodies, the working party has drawn up proposals for a new car
parking regime within the University; Council and the General Board have
agreed that the new car parking arrangements described in paras. 27–52
and the appendix below should become effective from 1 October 1999. The main
feature of the new car parking regime is that permits will be issued on the
basis of need only; the legitimate operational requirements of departments are
also taken into account.

2. After some further introductory paragraphs, this report is
organised under the following headings.

—The need for change (paras. 5–12)

—Alternatives to car use (paras. 13–26)

—A new car parking regime (paras. 27–52)

3. The working party comprised Professor C.M. Perrins (Chairman
of the Buildings Committee) as chairman, the Principal of Harris Manchester
College (Chairman of the Environment Committee), Professor P.C. Newell
(Chairman of the Staff Committee), Professor E. Sim, and the Senior Proctor
for the time being (Professor R.W. Ainsworth until 19 March 1999, and Mr
R.H.A. Jenkyns thereafter). The working party was serviced by Mr C.E. Willis,
with the Surveyor to the University and the Security Centre Manager also in
attendance.

4. Within the University the working party has consulted staff
groups on its outline proposals following endorsement of these in principle by
Council and the General Board in Hilary Term 1999. Meetings and discussions
have also been held with external bodies, including representatives of Oxford
Brookes University, the NHS Trusts, and the two main local bus companies.
Feedback has also been gained from City and County Council officers through
the University's membership of a new forum established by the City and
County Councils for regular meetings of representatives of many bodies to
discuss city- and county-led transport-related initiatives and the progress the
two universities and the NHS Trusts are making in reducing reliance on cars
for commuting; although the geographical area this group has been established
to cover is chiefly centred on Headington, many of the principles under
discussion apply equally well for Oxford University in the city centre.


Need for change

5. There were a number of factors which led the central bodies to
establish the working party to review car parking arrangements and have led
the working party to conclude that a new car parking regime for the
university is required. The factors include: the reduction in the number of
university car parking spaces while the number of university staff increases;
government policy on transport issues; implementation by the Oxford City
Council and the Oxfordshire County Council of local transport-related policies,
including the extension of residential parking areas and the implementation of
the Oxford Transport Strategy (OTS); a perceived unfairness in the operation
of the existing car parking arrangements; and increasing awareness of the
environmental impact of car-based travel to work.

6. A travel-to-work survey was carried out on 22 May 1997 as part
of a study commissioned by the Buildings Committee. The table below gives the
results of how staff in the Science Area reported that they travelled to work
on that day.


1997 Science Area Staff
Mode Proportion:
per cent
Number of
respondents
Factored staff:
total
Car driver 46.2 603 1,818
Car passenger 2.6 34 103
Park and Ride 1.5 20 60
Bus 10.7 139 419
Walk 7.0 92 278
Cycle 28.7 374 1,128
Train 1.5 20 60
Other 1.8 23 69
Total 100.0 1,305* 3,935

*Eighteen respondents did not record their mode of travel to work.

7. It is likely that the University car park at 2–4 South Parks
Road will have to close within a matter of months because of the expiry of
temporary planning consent for use of the land as a car park. The number of
car parking spaces there was 158 until March 1999 when 60 of these had to
be removed to create a contractors' compound for the construction of the
Rothermere American Institute nearby. The loss of the remaining 98 places
(when the planning authority prohibits further use of the area as a car park)
will reduce the total number of university car parking spaces in the central
area to about 1,140 (i.e. the closure will reduce the total capacity by more
than 10 per cent). The loss of just 60 spaces appears to have caused a
significant increase in breaches of existing car parking regulations, such as
double-parking and obstruction of fire lanes with a consequential increase in
pressure on the Security Services to fit clamps and tow away offending
vehicles.

8. Until March 1999 there were almost 400 permits in issue which
allowed holders to seek a space only in the South Parks Road car park (i.e.
not elsewhere in the Science Area—a restriction which has now been
relaxed). These permits were mostly issued to staff in the following
departments: Bodleian Library, History Faculty, History of Science Museum,
Social Studies, University Offices. The working party is convinced that it
would be invidious simply to deny these permit-holders access to university
car parking facilities when the car park closes. Since there are about 2,400
permits in issue, and, in theory therefore, some 1,200 or so members of staff
could drive to work and be unsuccessful in finding a parking space, it seems
that the only sensible way forward is to pool university car parking spaces
(with certain exceptions) and to reduce the total number of permits.

9. In July 1998 the Government published a White Paper A new deal
for transport: better for everyone which set out how, as part of a package
of measures tackling congestion and pollution, the Government would introduce
legislation to enable local authorities to introduce road user charges in their
area and to levy a charge on work-place car parking where they felt that
charges could help to meet their local transport objectives. The Oxford City
Council has confirmed that it will wish to introduce a work-place car parking
levy. Although such a levy is unlikely to be introduced immediately, the
University must put in place a new car parking régime which will
accommodate the need to recover the likely charges from those who benefit
directly from their provision.

10. The local highways authority (Oxfordshire County Council) and
the local planning authority (Oxford City Council) are working together on
schemes which they believe will reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
These include the introduction of residential car parking zones in Norham
Manor (with effect from 16 May), Summertown, and west Headington and
reductions in the maximum permitted period of parking in free and
pay-and-display parking bays around the city centre (as well as changes in
the number of such bays), in an attempt to reduce the current high levels of
commuter parking in residential and retail areas. The Oxford Transport
Strategy (OTS) is an attempt to limit the amount of traffic passing through
the city centre when the ring road could be equally well used. Improvements
to bus lanes and the extension and addition to Park & Ride facilities are
further aspects of the councils' approach. Anecdotal evidence suggests that
many university staff make use of the free on-street parking which is due to
be removed and this will as a consequence add pressure to the demand for
parking in university car parking spaces. With regard to new university
developments, the planning authority will not give planning consent to any
plans which include more than a very small number of commuter car parking
places, these being included to provide for occupants with disabilities;
underground and multi-storey car parks will not be granted planning consent.

11. Consultations with staff groups (i.e. with the Joint Consultative Committee
with the Oxford AUT, the Clerical and Library Negotiating Committee, the Joint
Committee with the MSF, and the Ancillary, Gardens, and Parks Employees'
Joint Committee) have revealed that there is an existing perceived unfairness
in the allocation within departments of car parking spaces to certain members
of the department. (The survey mentioned above revealed that it is the staff
on the lowest pay-scales that are most car dependent.) Between departments
it seems it is entirely due to historical accident that certain departments
within the Science Area have had the control of a certain number of car
parking places: when spaces were allocated to departments a number of years
ago, the basis for allocation was the then number of permit holders, not the
number of staff within the department. The criteria for assessing the
allocation of a car parking permit under the new system, to overcome the
perceived unfairness in current departmental allocations, are ranked in the
appendix. The number of permits which each department is authorised to issue
will be notified separately.

12. Finally, many members of the University support the principle of reducing
reliance on cars for travel to work by moving to greener forms of transport.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



Alternatives to car use

13. The usual list of modes of alternative means of getting from home
to work is: walking, cycling, motorcycling, bus, train, or some combination; car
sharing is also generally accepted as a means of reducing congestion. A
university-run bus service, or a contract with a bus company to provide
services for university staff, has also been suggested. These are considered
in turn with comments on the current position, possible developments, and
action the University is taking to improve arrangements.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



Walking

14. The working party recognises that relatively few university staff
are in the fortunate position of being able to walk to work: residential costs
for living in the city centre are relatively high. It is clear to the working
party that those within reasonable walking distance of their workplace should
not be granted a car parking permit.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



Cycling

15. Rather more members of staff live within cycling distance from
their normal place of work. The relatively high proportion of staff who cycled
to work on the day of the travel-to-work survey conducted in 1997 reflects
this fact, and such staff should be commended. Improving security of bicycles
at the place of work and provision of lockers and/or changing facilities is
likely to make cycling a more attractive option than public transport or car
use for commuting. The Buildings Committee will continue to take into account
the needs of cyclists when commissioning or refurbishing university buildings.
The University is also co-operating closely with the City and County Councils
in introducing new cycle tracks and lanes in the vicinity of university
buildings: the University has recently licensed the use of some of its land
around the Science Area for such use. The University has also encouraged the
local authorities to provide mandatory cycle lanes wherever the width of the
carriageway permits this.

16. The working party is aware that some departments have
bicycles available for use by staff during the working day and would wish to
encourage departments which do not make such provision at present to
consider doing so.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



Motorcycling

17. Motorcycles (and mopeds/scooters) are more efficient than cars and
occupy less road and parking space. As with bicycles, improving security at
the place of work and provision of lockers and/or changing facilities is likely
to make motorcycling more attractive. The Buildings Committee will therefore
continue to take into account the needs of motorcyclists when commissioning
or refurbishing university buildings.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



Park & Ride

18. The travel to work survey revealed very low use of Park &
Ride facilities by university staff based in the Science Area. It is, of course,
likely that this is due to the combined effect of Science Area car parking
being relatively plentiful by contrast with other areas of the University and
the lack of direct bus services from the Park & Ride sites to the Science
Area. Also, less frequent bus services following the evening rush hour deter
would-be users. The working party is aware Park & Ride facilities suffer
from a degree of `bad press', for example, that the car parks become full too
early for staff to be able to find a space; this is countered, however, by
other suggestions that the car parks are rarely full. The outcome is awaited
of the public inquiry into the introduction of a fifth Park & Ride site on
Banbury Road which will bring buses very slightly closer to the Science Area.
Payment for use of the car parks at three of the four Park & Ride sites
is required, currently 50p per day. Season tickets are available at a cost of
£2 per week for extended periods (a 20 per cent discount for those who
use the facility for five days each week). Arrangements for university staff
to purchase season tickets for the car parks and the bus service are
described in para. 26 below.

19. In theory, the University could buy land outside central Oxford
and seek to run its own Park & Ride service. Costs would not compare
favourably, however, with the rates charged by the City Council for security
at existing Park & Ride sites, nor the travel fares. Seeking spaces
reserved for University members only at the existing Park & Ride sites,
or coming to an agreement with the Botley Road superstores for use of their
customer car parking as a university Park & Ride facility has been
considered by the working party but it has been advised that the necessary
planning consent would be unlikely to be forthcoming. A private bus shuttle
would not be allowed to use bus lanes and in terms of speed, therefore, little
improvement over use of private cars would be made.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



Commercial bus services

20. The attractiveness of bus services for commuting to work very
much depends on the speed, frequency, reliability, coverage, continuation of
the period of service into the evening, and finally price. The bus companies
are, of course, businesses which need to operate at a profit. Inevitably
improvements in frequency and reliability and speed of journeys depend to
an extent on reduction of road congestion and this in turn depends on the
availability of bus lanes and reduction in car and other traffic. As regards
price, members of the University are able to benefit from discounted season
tickets bought on their behalf by the University; details of these are given
in para. 26 below. The bus companies are receptive to suggestions for
improvements to existing services and the creation of new services; analyses
of the 1997 staff travel to work survey have been passed to them to enable
them to assess the feasibility of introducing new routes to cover residential
areas in which university staff live. The working party has raised with the
bus companies the question of commercial services (particularly Park &
Ride services) being introduced through the Science Area (i.e. along South
Parks Road) but unfortunately this is unlikely because the latest generation
of buses have a wider base (better to accommodate pushchairs and
wheelchairs) and have increasing difficulty in negotiating the bends in the
road at the northern end of Longwall Street (or more accurately, the oncoming
traffic at these points). The working party understands, however, that all
buses operating in the city centre will soon be fitted with devices which can
influence the phasing of traffic signals and which could overcome the
difficulties encountered by buses at these points. Pressure will continue to be
applied to companies and the local authorities to work together to overcome
this problem. The bus companies are reviewing all routes through the city
centre to determine what changes are required once the OTS is implemented;
the working party has met representatives and has urged improvements. It is
possible that some routes which currently terminate in the city centre will in
future continue through to the Science Area; some existing routes which travel
near the Science Area and along Broad Street, which is due to close at its
western end, are likely to cease, however.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



Rail services

21. With regard to rail transport, Oxford benefits only from a
north-south line at present. The University offers interest-free loans to
members of staff for the purchase of rail season tickets; details are given in
para. 26 below.

22. Improvements can be expected in the future. Thames Trains
plans new stations at Kidlington and Kennington. A consortium of local
authorities is working with Railtrack to develop proposals to establish a new
east--west rail link from Oxford/Bicester to Milton Keynes and the east,
reusing freight-only and mothballed lines and track bed. The University has
also joined a co-ordinating group to consider the introduction of a Guided
Transit Express (GTE) which is a feature of the City Council's current Local
Plan; a southern arm would link Cowley and the city centre and a northern
arm would link the city centre with Kidlington and/or Gosford; it would also
serve a Park & Ride function.

23. The working party recognises that some would-be train users
are deterred from travelling to work this way by the poor transport links
from Oxford railway station to their workplace. It has discussed this with the
bus operators and the working party also understands that Stagecoach Oxford
has under consideration a new bus service between Oxford Railway Station and
the Science Area as a successor to the electric bus service which ceased
operation in April 1998. This would be an experimental `Thermic hybrid' bus
project and is dependent upon funds being secured from the European
Commission.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



Car sharing

24. In some instances travel to work by car is essential and in any
case will provide transport to a number of people (whether or not connected
in any way with the University or a college) other than the driver. Car
sharing schemes are not entirely straightforward to organise and funds must
often be provided by the employer to pay for alternative transport to get car
sharers home when exceptional circumstances, such as a domestic emergency,
mean that the normal car sharing arrangements break down: such provision
overcomes many of the perceived practical difficulties in a car sharing scheme.
The recent Budget included a concession to allow such payments to be made
tax-free and further investigations will be made into the introduction of a
university-wide car sharing scheme. Some departments already strongly
encourage car sharing. For example, security patrolmen on each shift tend all
to live in the same area: the rotas have been drawn up with this in mind.
This fairly simple approach is commended to all departments in which shift
work is common.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



A university bus service

25. The working party has considered the establishment of a university
bus service. Wolfson College and Westminster College run their own shuttle
buses from their respective college sites to the city centre along the Banbury
and Botley Roads respectively. These are relatively small-scale operations and
serve a very clear purpose for travel between the city centre and main places
of work which are poorly served by commercial operators. The working party
is also familiar with the arrangements Oxford Brookes University has with
Stagecoach Oxford whereby staff and students are able to travel free of
charge between the University's Gipsy Lane and Wheatley campuses, where,
again, a clear, daytime purpose is served; in the main, Oxford Brookes
University staff do not benefit from this arrangement for travel to work. In
the March 1999 Budget, the Chancellor relaxed tax charges on commuting
benefits, making such an operation slightly more attractive; however, given
the extent of geographical coverage of homes of university staff it is quite
impractical to propose a single or even a handful of bus services which would
meet travel-to-work needs. Furthermore, the absolute costs involved are
prohibitive. For example, in 1998 the University was asked whether it wished
to subsidise the electric bus service linking the railway station and the
Science Area; the annual subsidy required was £120K. More recently
quotes of about £600 per day have been received to run a fairly limited
bus service between the Pear Tree and Thornhill Park & Ride sites. As
already mentioned above, a private bus service would not be allowed to use
bus lanes and in terms of speed, therefore, would not provide any
improvement over private cars. The working party therefore does not propose
any further investigation into a university bus service.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



Interest-free loans and ticket discounts

26. The University offers staff interest-free loans for the purchase of
bus or train season tickets. The procedure is for the employee to complete an
application form attaching evidence of the purchase of the ticket, and a loan
cheque is then made out to the employee to reimburse him or her;
alternatively a cheque may be made out to the bus/train company. The loan
is repayable interest-free through the payroll over the period covered by the
season ticket. The University also bulk-purchases travel cards from the
Oxford Bus Company gaining a discount of 10 per cent. This saving is passed
on to employees and again payment is recovered over the period of the ticket
through the payroll. Negotiations are also under way with Stagecoach Oxford
for a similar discount for season tickets provided by them and with Oxford
City Council for extended season tickets for the car parking charges at the
three Park & Ride sites which currently have charges. Current details of
loan and travel discount schemes may be found on the University Offices Web
site (URL:
http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/travel.htm
), but improvements to the
arrangements are now under discussion.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



A new car parking regime

27 . The working party has proposed and
Council and the General Board have agreed that new car parking arrangements
described here should become effective from 1 October 1999. The main feature
of the new car parking regime is that permits will in future be issued on the
basis of need only; however, the legitimate operational requirements of
departments are also taken into account. The principles guiding the working
party in proposing changes to the arrangements are first set out (paras.
28–32) followed by the main changes which have been agreed (paras.
33–41). There then follows a detailed description of the new arrangements
(paras. 42–52). The criteria against which applications for car parking
permits will in future be assessed at departmental level are listed in the
appendix.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



Guiding principles and other matters considered
by the working party

28 . Something which has been clear to the
working party from the outset is that, regardless of the current arrangements
for the issue of car parking permits, any expectation on the part of staff to
entitlement to park their car at or very near their place of work must be
removed in all but very exceptional cases (an example of such an exceptional
case being one in which a member of staff is disabled and travelling to work
by public transport is not an option). Thereafter, given the limited number of
car parking spaces available, priority must be given to those who can
demonstrate the greatest of needs for a car parking space. The criteria set
out in the appendix have been drawn up to reflect this principle. In
particular it will be seen that seniority or rank within a department does not
in itself confer any particular priority for a car parking permit to be issued.

29 . Since anecdotal evidence suggests that very
many current permit holders use their permits fairly rarely and furthermore
that they are mostly able to predict at least some days in advance when they
expect to need them, new temporary permits should satisfy many current
permit holders.

30 . The legitimate operational requirements of
departments were also a significant concern of the working party; a number
of representations were received on this aspect. Many departments need to
provide temporary parking for a series of vehicles each day, be they those
of academic visitors to the department, delivery vehicles, or contractors'
vehicles. Some temporary spaces must be available for such vehicles at all
times even if only briefly for loading and unloading. Very small departments
with very few staff may have legitimate needs for a number of spaces which
may be used by visitors.

31 . Under current car parking arrangements,
certain departments benefit from historically large allocation of spaces for use
by members of the department alone. The working party has taken the view
that such an anomaly should be removed. Henceforth all car parking spaces
should in principle be pooled and made available either to any member of the
University subject to demonstration of need on a first-come, first-served
basis, or to named departments for use by their members alone, the number
of such spaces allocated to each departments being calculated with reference
to the department's size. In some exceptional cases for safety and security
reasons it will not be practical to pool certain spaces in this way. The
working party had considered dividing the main university area into zones to
reduce the likelihood of permit-holders circulating over a wide area, looking
for a vacant space, but it has decided not to pursue this, thinking instead
that arrangements will settle after a short period.

32 . Some universities and other bodies charge
staff for the right to park at the place of work, in some cases different
charges giving permit holders different rights: high charges guarantee a car
parking place every day; slightly lower charges allow holders to hunt for a
space; other spaces are made available for short-term parking and are
charged at an hourly rate using pay-and-display tickets. In general such
schemes generate sizeable revenue streams which may or may not fund
commuter or other transport-related schemes. The working party's remit did
not extend to considering whether car parking charges should be introduced
to provide a general revenue for the University; the working party considers
that any charges for car parking should be applied only to offset the costs
directly associated with the regime, and perhaps thereafter to fund commuter
or transport-related matters. Although a small administrative charge of
£10 would raise sufficient revenue to fund an additional car parking
attendant to enforce arrangements, and staff groups did not object in
principle to such a charge, the working party has decided not to pursue this,
preferring instead to await the need to charge for car parking to pay the
local authority levy which is expected to be introduced for each commuter car
parking space provided by employers within the next few years. Council and
the General Board have agreed in principle that any such levy on the
University should be recovered in full from those who benefit from the places
and furthermore that, rather than all car users being charged a flat rate,
there should be a scale of charges according to pay scale or ability to pay.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



Main changes to the existing car parking
arrangements

33 . At present, in practice, applications for car
parking permits which allow holders to hunt for a space are not assessed
using any clearly defined and publicised criteria; the most significant change
is that each application will be assessed using criteria drawn up to ascertain
need for a permit (the appendix), and now an absolute limit will be placed on
the number of peak-time permits which each department may authorise to be
issued.

34 . Hitherto motorcyclists have not been
required to have a permit to park iin designated spaces. It seems sensible
that the needs of motorcyclists should be recognised and formal permission be
given to them. Motorcyclists must also apply for a parking permit, and these
too will be issued on the basis of need. For the purpose of calculating the
number of permits which may be issued, two motorcycle permits shall be
deemed to be the equivalent of one car parking permit.

35 . The current arrangements do not take into
account the fact that there is fierce competition for university car parking
spaces early on term-time weekday mornings but not at other times. Since, as
a general rule, there is no shortage of spaces in the afternoons, evenings,
and weekends, and competition is far less fierce in the depths of the Long
Vacation, off-peak permits will be available; these will be issued on
departmental authority, and will be valid in all non-departmental spaces
during off-peak periods (as defined).

36 . At present there is no requirement for a
department to justify to its members why certain individuals have been
granted the right to park in spaces allocated to the department. Departments
will now be required to publish any variation they make in the application of
the criteria for assessment in the appendix and to indicate, anonymously, the
circumstances which justify the issue of each permit.

37. Hitherto some departments have enjoyed historic rights
to a greater number of departmental car parking spaces than one would
expect on the basis of staff numbers. Henceforth virtually all spaces other
than those allocated for use by particular departments strictly according to
their size will be pooled; exceptions will arise from safety and security
reasons making such pooling impractical.

38. Staff in departments which are not based in the central
area (e.g. those based at the Headington hospitals) will not be able to apply
for peak-time permits for the central area: their needs will be met by the use
of temporary permits issued by departments which are being visited.

39. Whereas at present there are about 2,400 car parking
permits in issue allolwing holders to hunt for one of up to about 1,000 non-
departmental spaces (a permit to space ratio of about 2.4:1), the number of
peak-time permits is expected to fall to about 800–1,000 and the number
of pooled spaces in which the reduced number of permit holders may park is
expected to fall to about 750–850 (a ratio of about 1.2:1). The number of
spaces allocated to departments to ensure that they can operate effectively is
likely to increase from the current levels to about 400.

40. The precise figures will be determined periodically in the
light of consultations with departments. The number of peak-time permits and
spaces available to departments will be based on payroll headcount (hence a
need periodically to review figures) but with, in most cases, a minimum level
to ensure operational viability.

41. Aspects of the current arrangements which are not
changing are as follows: the Security Services will continue actually to issue
the permits (peak- and off-peak) on the receipt of a departmentally authorised
application form; permits will need to be reviewed annually; departments will
be able to issue temporary permits; for most staff there will continue to be
no guarantee of a car parking space, but normal staff absences due to leave
or illness can be expected to ensure that spaces for permit-holders are
generally available.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



New car parking scheme in detail

42. With effect from 1 October 1999 and until further notice
the following conditions apply to all drivers of vehicles parked in any central
area university car parking space.

43. Vehicles parked in university car parking spaces which
do not display an appropriate permit will be treated as trespassing and will
be liable to be clamped. Vehicles which are parked in prohibited areas or
obstruct emergency exits are liable to be towed away.

44. Three types of permit will be available: `peak-time
permits' issued by the University Security Services will allow holders to park
in designated non-departmental spaces, if available, at all hours of the day;
`off-peak permits' also issued by the University Security Services will allow
holders to park in designated non-departmental spaces, if available, during
off-peak hours (as defined below); `temporary permits' issued by departments
on a daily basis will be for use only in spaces allocated to the department.

45. Peak-time permits will be issued to members of a
department on the basis of need, as assessed on a departmental
level against the agreed criteria in the appendix. Applications should
be made on a standard form and submitted according to arrangements devised
within each department; heads of department are responsible for assessing
applications and for authorising the Security Services to issue peak-time
permits up to the maximum number allowable for the department. The allocation
to departments is based on a headcount of staff on the department's
payroll.

46. Heads of department are required to publish details of
any variation they make in the application of the criteria for assessment in
the appendix and to indicate, anonymously, the circumstances which justify
the issue of each permit (for example by posting a list along the following
lines: two peak-time permits have been issued on the basis of the applicant's
disabilities; two peak-time permits have been issued on the basis of the
requirement on the applicants to use a car for work purposes on a regular
and frequent basis; six peak-time permits have been issued to staff living in
Witney, Woodstock, and Wootton; six peak-time permits have been issued to
staff living within the Oxford Ring Road (or in Botley, Cumnor, Wolvercote,
Kidlington, Barton, Sandhills, Risinghurst, Blackbird Leys, Littlemore, and
Kennington), who have children at nurseries or schools who must be delivered
and collected at the start and end of each working day).

47. Off-peak permits will be issued by the Security Services
to members of a department on departmental authority: a standard application
form must be completed.

48. Off-peak permits will be valid for use in designated
non-departmental areas at the following times: up to 7 a.m. each weekday;
after 4 p.m. each weekday; all day at weekends; and at other times as may be
announced from time to time (for example during the quieter weeks of the
Long Vacation).

49. All peak-time and off-peak permits must be renewed
annually. Renewal must be on the basis of repeat application.

50. The number of temporary permits that may be issued is
for each department to control; since the temporary permits are valid only in
departmental spaces, it is important for departments to exercise their control.
The temporary spaces are intended to allow departments to operate effectively.
They are for use by contractors (including staff of the Surveyor's Office
working within the department), delivery vehicles, visiting academic staff,
service workers, and, as necessary, members of the department who do not
hold peak-time permits. A member of the department who does not qualify for
a peak-time permit may be allowed to use the temporary spaces intensively for
short periods but it would be expected that such a situation would be rare.
As well as specifying the date on which each temporary permit is valid, a
permit may also be further restricted as to the times between which it may
be used.

51. The number of car parking spaces around the central
university area is about 1,140. The number of spaces allocated to each
department for use only by holders of temporary permits issued by the
relevant department will be notified separately and will take account of the
number of vehicles operated by the department.

52. A map will be prepared to indicate the location of all
departmental and non-departmental spaces, and prohibited areas.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



APPENDIX

CRITERIA FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF NEED FOR A PEAK-TIME PARKING
PERMIT

The main criteria which will be used in each department to assess need for
a peak-time university parking permit from 1 October 1999 are as follows:

Disability. Staff who have a registered disability or hold an
`Orange Badge' should have automatic entitlement to a permit. This is on the
basis that, regardless of the availability of alternative public transport
services, they are unlikely to be able to use them. Staff who suffer temporary
mobility problems should be eligible for a permit for the duration of the
impairment. Staff with other medical or physical conditions which necessitate
that they should park in close proximity to their place of work should be
accorded the highest priority.

Operational requirements. Staff having a requirement to use a car
for work purposes (i.e. purposes other than commuting between home and the
normal place of work as specified in an employee's contract of employment) on
a regular and frequent basis during the working day as an essential part of
their duties should be accorded high priority.

Inadequate public transport. Staff who live beyond a distance
where they could reasonably be expected to walk or cycle to work, or who
live in areas beyond reasonable reach of work by public transport, should be
accorded high priority. Reasonable public transport accessibility is defined
as follows: a total journey time of not more than about 45 minutes each way
between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. including a walk of up to about 10
minutes between home and bus stop/railway station, and up to about 15
minutes between city bus stop/railway station and workplace (i.e. the balance
of about 25 minutes being available for the journey itself). Within this
definition very few, if any, staff living within the Oxford Ring Road or in
outlying areas such as Botley, Cumnor, Wolvercote, Kidlington, Barton,
Sandhills, Risinghurst, Blackbird Leys, Littlemore, and Kennington should
normally expect to receive a permit.

Unsocial hours of work. Persons whose work requires them to
work unsocial hours and for whom the availability of reasonable public
transport is much less good should be accorded high priority.

Family commitments. Staff needing to attend to dependent family
members during the day (i.e. taking to or collecting nursery- or school-age
children from nursery or school or visiting other family members elsewhere
not immediately accessible by public transport during the day) should be
accorded high priority.

It will be the responsibility of the heads of department to authorise the
issue of peak-time car parking permits up to the number allocated to the
department, normally by applying these criteria. Heads of department will use
their own judgement in applying the criteria as appropriate, perhaps applying
a cumulative weighting system. (For example, an applicant who has inadequate
public transport links and has family commitments is likely to have greater
priority for a permit than an applicant whose links to public transport are
very poor but who does not have any family commitments.) In principle a
department could normally allocate a car parking permit to a member of staff
for the period that he or she holds a particular post or category of post
which necessitates car use.

In assessing need for a peak-time parking permit, heads of department should
have regard to the availability to the applicant (or perhaps the applicant's
spouse) of alternative parking facilities in Oxford: those with ready access to
non-university parking space in Oxford are unlikely to need a peak-time
university parking permit.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement