By Paddy Henry
- University announces that permit holders will be given €20 back as demand slumps for on-campus parking
NUI Galway have announced that students and staff who have paid for a parking permit on campus will be given a €20 refund.
The permit which costs €50 per year for students and €55 per year for staff has been a contentious issue among many within the University of late with an abundance of car parking spaces left vacant due to a lack of activity on campus.
The University are also cutting the cost for new permits by the same amount.
Earlier this year SIN reported that the costs generated from the collection of the parking permit were used to cover the cost of the University’s Park and Ride service which was “indefinitely paused” at the beginning of the semester.
Student’s Union President Pádraic Toomey praised the University’s decision to provide the partial refund, but said more needed to be done, telling SIN;
“We’re delighted with the University’s decision to refund students and also to reduce the cost to people who will be getting parking permits.
“This is well overdue, students should have been paying for full parking permits, especially when the University had previously quoted that money from the permits goes to the bus service which is currently running this year. We still have a lot of work to do and we believe that all spaces should be equally shared between staff and students, but we are very glad with the announcement “
Students living with disabilities were vocal in their criticism of the University over their decision to pause the Park and Ride service earlier in the year and Disability Rights Officer Trish O’Mahony welcomed the news that students were getting something back.
“I think it’s brilliant for all students, but most especially for students with disabilities. To get something back like that is great especially when fees and registration and all of those things are all the same, when students aren’t even in college.
“I suppose the only way I can put it is that it’s a start. And whether it will go any further later on, I don’t know but it is a start. I suppose here is nobody parking there really, and it is a bit of a nuisance.” she said.
One student who paid for a permit at the start of the year welcomed the decision
“t’s very helpful to be able to park on campus however this year with the pandemic affecting on campus learning there’s a lot of vacant parking spaces so it’s frustrating having to pay the full amount for the permit. I am glad to hear that permit holders like me are going to be getting some money back as every little helps in these difficult times.” he said.