Can you give guidance on the parking policy please?

QUESTION:

Last week, following the email from Mark Hattersley, I began the process of applying for a new permit, but when I read the District Enforcement Privacy Policy, I didn’t proceed. However, as I am concerned I will not get a permit in time, I am applying this morning. Would you kindly read the policy and let me have any feedback on its content please? (http://www.district-enforcement.co.uk/regulation/privacy-policy.html)

I am no legal expert (quite the opposite), hence my concerns are as follows:

• They will collect information about my (works) PC for their administration but also to pass information to their advertisers
• Data may be transferred to, stored at and processed by staff at a destination outside the EEA. However District Enforcement will only take “…all steps reasonably necessary to ensure your data is treated securely…”
• They have a statement reading “Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk…”

The last point is particularly worrying as they are stating that the responsibility for the security of my application is mine – how can this company put the onus on me when I am using their application process that they have put in place?

Many thanks in advance for any guidance you may have regarding the wording of this policy.

ANSWER:

Although this is not a definitive legal position, we feel that the terms and conditions are very standard approaches that appear in most privacy policies for online services. They form the standard for privacy policies for most companies and so should not be cause for concern.

Why are the barriers up at Clarice cliff?

QUESTION:

Could we have the barrier down on the Clarice Cliff car park until the lighting renovations are complete? As a member of staff and student who is often here until dark, I don’t like the thought that anyone can park up and hang out in this darker area unapproached. I’m sure district enforcement are not working that late to dissuade any non-permit holders from being in this vicinity.

ANSWER:

The barrier is raised because of problems reading access cards. The card reader is due to be replaced with an upgraded one and as soon as this work is completed, the barrier will be back in full operation. The car parks are not patrolled by District Enforcement but by the Campus and Residences Teams who do have a presence on campus 24 hours a day. There is also good CCTV coverage of the area.

Will I receive a parking ticket for not displaying a tax disc?

QUESTION:

Part of the terms and conditions for a car park pass on campus states that you agree to ensure that your vehicle displays a valid car tax disc. Now that the DVLA has done away with paper tax discs, how can this condition be enforced? My car falls within this bracket and after renewing my car tax at the end of September, I am no longer in receipt of a paper tax disc to display. My concerns are:

1. How likely is it that I will receive a ticket for not displaying a valid car tax disc?
2. How likely is it that my access to the car park will be blocked because I am not displaying a valid car tax disc?
3. How can I be sure that numerous car park spaces are not taken up by vehicles that are no longer being taxed and therefore should not be parked on campus?

ANSWER:

The reason that vehicles need to be taxed in order for their car park permit to be valid is so that vehicle owners are unable to park a car at the University either without tax or because it is declared as off the road (SORN Statutory Off Road Notice). There have been occasions in the past where this has happened and spaces have been unavailable for long periods of time. The change that has come into force this month does make it harder for us to see whether a vehicle is taxed or not but under no circumstances is the University able to issue a parking charge notice for not having road tax.

All staff and students who have a current access or student card can gain access to the car parks however in order to park a vehicle they must be able to display a valid permit.

We will not be actively checking road tax but if we find out and verify that a vehicle doesn’t have any road tax then the permit for that vehicle will become invalid and the car will be issued with a parking charge notice for displaying an invalid permit.

The changes which have eliminated the need to display a paper road tax disc do make it harder to check whether a car is taxed but this has been considered by the Government in deciding on this measure and anyone choosing to drive an un-taxed vehicle runs significant risk of being detected by things like automatic number plate recognition using CCTV cameras, which are plentiful throughout the country.

The University hopes that all staff, students and visitors who drive to campus do so responsibly and comply with legislation.

When were staff asked to feedback on parking permits?

QUESTION:

Yesterday you answered a question regarding staff members being able to apply for a student car parking permit whilst studying.

Regarding the Q why can’t it be £35 for students that don’t want/need/have 2 cars the answer was:
“Staff are more likely to share cars with partners and family members and therefore it is more convenient to be able to register both cars rather than use the counterfoil option. This was agreed following feedback.”

My question is where did you get this information from? When were staff invited to provide feedback on car parking? I cannot recall being asked to provide any feedback. I do not know anyone within my extended team that shares a car with partners and family members and indeed a few, including myself, struggle to keep one car on the road.

ANSWER:

The Vice-Chancellor invited feedback when we were initially exploring ways to manage our car parks and address the serious health and safety concerns as a result of inappropriate parking in 2012. When plans for car park management were shared with colleagues we invited further feedback and at this point we received lots of requests for colleagues to be able to register more than one vehicle. Last year we issued 4113 permits across the campuses and 12% were for multiple vehicles.

Can members of staff apply for a student parking permit?

QUESTION:

Can members of staff who are also studying at the University use their Student alias to get a cheaper parking pass?

If this is a yes (and I see no reason why it shouldn’t be) then why is there no option for all staff to just pay £35 for a single car if they don’t wish to register two? It doesn’t seem fair that staff who are also studying here can get a £15 reduction.

ANSWER:

Any enrolled student can apply for a student parking permit.

The permit fee is not based on whether or not you can register multiple vehicles. Students are only able to register one vehicle because the likelihood of them having access to more than one car on a regular basis is low. If a student does need to attend in a different car then they can use their counterfoil in exchange for a temporary permit. Staff are more likely to share cars with partners and family members and therefore it is more convenient to be able to register both cars rather than use the counterfoil option. This was agreed following feedback.

Will District Enforcement be checking car tax?

QUESTION:

Can I ask, now that we have a ‘paperless’ road tax disc system by the DVLA, are there procedures in place for District Enforcement staff to check if a car is parked legally on the University Car Parks as some people may think that they can get away with illegal parking if they are no longer required to display a valid car road tax disc?

ANSWER:

Car parks are patrolled by the University Campus Team and on occasion we have been able to report a vehicle that has no valid tax disc, however this is not a responsibility that sits with the University.

Is it safe to hand in counterfoils at Cadman?

QUESTION:

Can you tell me why the counterfoil to the car parking permits have to be sent to room B001 in the Cadman Building, which I understand is the Campus control room. Who deals with them once they are there and can everyone who has access to that room see them. If so I am not happy about this as the counterfoils have names and addresses on, so surely this contravenes data protection.

ANSWER:

B001 is the new location for the Campus Control Room and as such is staffed 24/7 making it easy for staff and students to return their permit acceptance forms. Once handed in they are placed in a sealed envelope and sent daily to the office of the Director of Service where they are filed securely. Anyone with concerns can either blank out their address before returning the form or can use a sealed envelope marked private and confidential for the attention of the Director of Campus and Commercial Services.

Will the timing, suspensions and price of permits change again?

QUESTION:

I was wondering if the time to get your permit displayed was going to be changed again??

And will there be a break for the permits for August September and October 2015??  If that is the case then we only have a permit for 10 ½ months of the year yet the price has gone up??

And finally if the price has been raised 150% , is the same going to happen next year???

ANSWER:

Permits will be enforced in car parks at Stoke and Stafford from Monday 6 October.

There are times and events throughout the year when permits are suspended, for example open days or during clearing, but there are no current plans to suspend permits at any other times.

We are working on plans for next year and beyond, taking all of the feedback that we have received into account and also considering the impact of the Estates Strategy and Sustainable Travel Plan. As proposals are developed these will be shared for comment.

How many car permits were issued last year?

QUESTION:

How many car permits were issued last year?
How many car park spaces are there available to permit holders, i.e. not including car parking spaces reserved for executive or other management?

ANSWER:

For last year there were 4113 permit records. At Stoke there are approximately 1400 car parking spaces available to permit holders and at Stafford approximately 1000.