The shortage of car parking spaces at Stoke means many more staff and students are now parking on Clarice Cliff. Since the clocks went back in October it has become apparent how poorly lit the pathway is leading along the river from the Leek Road to Clarice Cliff car park and student accommodation, which is essentially an extension of the Stoke campus .
While the main road provides an alternative, students and staff are still faced with an uneasy walk up a poorly lit sideroad. As the contractors responsible for the campus remodelling are still on-site would the University consider making safer this increasingly used pedestrian route – for the benefit and wellbeing of both its students and staff!
During the summer months the walk over from Clarice Cliff Court was lovely but as the nights have drawn in I’ve realised how poor the lighting is, its all low level and very dim.
I haven’t walked over on my own yet but I don’t really fancy it. If I were a student walking back home on my own after a night out I think I would feel really vulnerable.
Any pennies left in the kitty to bring this path out of the dark ages?
Two of our trainees reported last week that they had seen a man acting suspiciously in the bushes near to the Clarice Cliff car park as they walked from the car park to the Science Centre. I believe this has already been reported to Estates. Since then, students have asked whether lighting can be improved along the path and bridge in that area – especially with the dark nights. A colleague told me that she thought there were plans for improvements by September 2013 but there doesn’t seem to have been anything done. Do you have any information that I could take to the students about this? I walked along that path last night at 5pm and it was very dark. The small lights only really mark the pathway.
The proposed upgrade to Lordship Lane, which included some improvement of the route up to Clarice Cliff Court, was intended to complete by September 2013 but is on hold whilst we await the outcome of the current work on the development of a new estates masterplan.
We are aware of concerns about security and low lighting levels on the footpath leading to Clarice Cliff Court and its car parks and now intend to carry out some localised improvements along this stretch which will consist of cutting back hedging and plant growth adjacent to the path and maintenance to the existing low level bollards including replacing the existing translucent light covers with clear covers to increase light levels.
We are exploring the introduction of taller lighting columns along the route to provide better visibility and we are in discussion with the Council’s Planning Department, Ecologist (due to the environmental status of the nature reserve) and our Police Liaison Officer to progress this as soon as possible.
Director of Estates
Is it possible at answer why some staff deem it acceptable to use bollards hanging around the car park, to reserve parking spaces for their colleagues on the College Road Car Park? We have witnessed members of staff remove bollards from the top corner of the car park and proceed to park their cars there. We thought the spaces were on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis, is this not now the case?
Perhaps it might be an idea if colleagues from Estates ensure that all spare bollards are removed if not required to prevent this from happening? Perhaps all members of staff and students should receive an email from Executive stating that these practices are not acceptable with perhaps a warning that anyone found doing this may find that they are banned from parking on University premises? It is confusing because it may be that Estate staff had a request for reserved parking for visitors only to have staff remove the bollards because they could not be bothered to walk across from Leek Road?
Thank you for highlighting this issue. Car parks are managed by the Campus and Commercial Services team who are often asked to reserve spaces for visitors. They try wherever possible to accommodate these requests in support of University business and currently traffic cones are used to mark reserved spaces.
Wherever feasible, it is easier to reserve spaces at Leek Road where they can monitor spaces from the lodge. At College Road, they aren’t able to monitor the spaces and do find that both staff and students regularly move or remove cones, and the bollards from the current landscaping works, so as to park in reserved spaces themselves.
Once the landscaping project is finished and car park barriers are all operational, it will be easier for the team to manage spaces and crack down on these kinds of serious offences, but for now we rely on the support and goodwill of our colleagues who in the most part do leave reserved spaces alone.
When the work is finished, the Campus and Commercial Services team will also be able to review the use and storage of cones to minimise the opportunities for them to be used incorrectly in the future.
Please note that the organisers of the 10k race have now changed the event date to Sunday 29 September 2013, however we will still be offering our support.
There’s a rumour that the University has agreed to lend/loan out part of the Leek Road car park for an event, external to the University, on the 21 September. Is this correct?
The Campus team has agreed to support organisers of a local 10k race, by offering some parking on Leek Road, at the rear of the lodge to participants on the morning of September 21. Any spaces that are used will be vacated by 10am.
We are approached a couple of times a year by organisers of weekend community events looking for support in the form of some car parking spaces and we try whenever possible to help. We are aware that there will be lots of activity on campus during that weekend but are confident that we can support this event without compromising either intake or open day activities.
My colleagues and I have noticed that some cars are parking in disabled bays but do not have blue badges, instead they have a university permit allowing them to do so.
The permits do not have expiry dates on them and so it would be extremely useful to obtain one. Could you tell us the criteria for obtaining these permits as I would assume that it requires some degree of infirmity, also could you inform us who makes the decision as to how disabled you have to be to acquire one if this is the case.
The University recognises that from time to time, our colleagues and students may have a temporary situation that causes mobility issues but isn’t covered by the blue badge scheme. In such circumstances, we are happy to work with the Student Enabling Centre or individual faculty or service management teams to provide a short term solution by way of an accessible parking permit.
These are managed by Skip Edwards in the Campus and Commercial Services team. While details are not printed on the permit, they are logged and recorded so as to be active only as long as is necessary.
Could you please tell me when Blackheath Lane car park will be cleared as it very dangerous today?
The Grounds and Campus teams make every effort to grit and clear the main roads and pavements on campus but we don’t clear parking spaces as the only way to do this without a snow plough is to do so by hand. If there are areas of the campus that are of particular concern at any time then these should be reported to the Campus team in the appropriate lodge.
The Stafford Campus team have spread some more grit at Blackheath Lane this afternoon and will do so again first thing in the morning when there are no cars parked.
I often have to drive to more than one campus in a day, how would the permit work? Is it multisite?
The permit scheme will allow for inter site travel but in the event of any problems, the Estates teams in the appropriate lodge will be able to help.
Could you provide an update about the acquisition of parking permits please?
How will we have to apply and what is the time frame for this?
We are finalising the permit scheme, taking into account all of the feedback and suggestions that we have received. We will be opening the application process very soon and at that time will share all of the relevant information.
Following on from your response below concerning visitor parking:
Many of our visitors are known about and arranged in advance with the opportunity to send a visitor permit to them prior to their visit.
Most visitors announce their arrival to the teams in the lodges who can then manage and monitor their parking but for the few who may tailgate, the car park signage will make it very clear that to park without a permit will result in the issue of a parking charge notice. If an individual has not made themselves known or displayed a permit then it is likely that they will be issued with a parking charge notice. If it turns out that this has been issued in error then it will be cancelled.
When a popular film is showing at the film theatre – there will be a lot of ad hoc visitors turning up on the night to park, these people will not necessarily have been known about in advance, so will not have been issued with a visitor permit prior to their visit, so will all of these ad hoc visitors have to then announce themselves at the lodge and be issued with a permit on the night so that they can park ?
If this is the case, this will certainly cause hold ups, as it gets very busy in the car park if there is a popular film showing – and as you state if people are parking without a permit then they will receive a parking charge notice.
Also this must mean that staff will be present at the lodge to manage all of this – because at the moment when visiting the film theatre in the evening we rarely see anyone at the lodge, so is this going to change ?
The lodge on College Road will be demolished soon as part of the landscaping project. The team operates from the leek Road lodge and we have new car park barriers being installed at the new entrance to the car park where an intercom will connect visitors to the team. While we have made every effort to consider all possible scenarios in planning the car park management procedures, it is likely that these will evolve with experience and handling visitors to the university may be one of these examples. Safety and customer service remain our key priorities.
For those members of staff who use more than one car to travel to work – will the parking permits be transferable between cars?
We are proposing within the permit scheme that up to two cars can be registered as we appreciate that this applies to many people.
Are there any plans to increase the number of cycle stands on the Stafford campus?
The current provision of stands gets very crowded, and if the new parking plan increases the number of people cycling to work, there will be insufficient secure lock-up points.
We have recently identified spaces for more cycle parking at Stafford and will be installing more cycle hoops very soon.
You can find out more on campus improvements at Shaping the Future