Review of transport and parking on Exeter campuses

Update on feedback - 28 May

Following the recent consultation on the future of parking on our Exeter campuses, of the four options outlined below, Option 4 was the most popular amongst drivers and non-drivers (41%).  Feedback has suggested that people felt that this option will ensure we have a fairer charging structure, alongside opportunities for new and improved alternative and sustainable transport options.

The team are now working through the responses received - nearly 900, to identify any changes and improvements that can be incorporated into the final proposal. This proposal will be presented to VCEG in June and will then be shared with colleagues, and our staff union representatives, in July. Subject to VCEG approval, we hope to implement these changes in November.

Background to review 

The University is one of the largest employers in the city, and our workforce is expected to grow over the next few years. Due to local authority planning constraints, there is no future opportunity to increase the number of parking spaces we have. The University therefore needs to manage parking more effectively whilst also supporting colleagues to take up alternative, sustainable methods of transport. To do this, space on our campus needs to be prioritised for those that need it most, and our sustainable transport provision needs to be accessible, fit for purpose and sufficiently funded.

A review of current parking management and existing transport options has taken place and a range of options were developed to help address the review findings. We asked colleagues for their feedback on these options during a period of consultation which has now closed. We received almost 900 responses, and the car parking team are now analysing these to develop a final model. Key themes from this feedback will be shared with colleagues in the next few weeks, and the final model will be presented to VCEG in June.

Why are we making these changes?

The review shows that the University has provided low cost parking for colleagues and this has had a detrimental effect on our ability to invest sufficiently in the maintenance of our car parks and campuses and in sustainable transport initiatives. In the options outlined below, options 2-4 will enable us to continue to subsidise the D bus and the free minibus services from St David’s station to our Exeter campuses. They will also allow the University to continue to invest in the new sustainable transport measures being introduced as part of Project North Park. This includes the expansion of the bus discount to other city routes, personalised travel plans and free alternative travel tasters for colleagues. All other aspects of parking policy currently in place, including car share arrangements will remain.

The proposed changes provide a number of options which have been benchmarked against local organisations including the RD&E, and Devon County Council, as well as other Higher Education institutions including FX Plus. Charging for city centre parking (zones 1-3) has also been considered.

When will these changes be implemented?

We are now hoping to implement these changes from November 2019, but this will be subject to engagement with colleagues and trade unions.

This approach will result in a continuation of the current permit charging and the introduction of consistent eligibility criteria for all colleagues, irrespective of length of employment. More detail is available on this, under the ‘Changes to eligibility criteria’ tab below.

Benefits:

There will be no immediate cost implications for colleagues.

Disadvantages:

The pressure on parking on our Exeter campuses is likely to continue to rise and this will not support the University’s commitment to flexible working.

The ability to invest in additional sustainable and alternative transport options will be limited, and our existing services including the minibus service and D bus subsidy, are likely to become unaffordable over time.

Option two will result in a charging structure for parking based on vehicle emissions only. This approach will introduce an increase in charging for permits for all colleagues that will be dependent on the emission levels of your vehicle. This will also include a new 'Lowest' band for colleagues who have made the shift to lower emission vehicles and hybrid / electric vehicles.

A breakdown of charging for this option can be seen in the table below, along with the difference in pricing and percentage change:

Emissions (gCO2/km)

Current annual permit price

Proposed annual permit price

Difference to current price
High (>140) £253.50 £426 £172.5 (+68%)
Middle (120-139) £159.50 £341 £181.50 (+114%)
Low (100-119) £86.61 £256 £169.39 (+196%)*
Lowest (<100) £86.61 £170 £83.39 (+96%)

*Please note the proposed carbon tariff offset arrangements have changed to include a ‘Lowest’ tariff. The existing discount for Middle and Low tariffs is calculated on a 33% and 66% reduction on the high tariff respectively. To accommodate the new ‘Lowest’ tariff a discount proposal of 20%, 40% & 60% reduction to the Middle, Low, ‘Lowest’ tariffs is applied to the high tariff respectively. This adversely affects the % change on the existing Low tariff to achieve a consistently across all the tariffs.

The introduction of this charging structure will sit alongside the introduction of new eligibility criteria for parking permits. This new criteria will bring all colleagues onto the same system and will redefine the eligible postcode areas to reflect the availability of public transport. More detail is available on this, under the ‘Changes to eligibility criteria’ tab below.

Benefits:

• This will enable a reduction in carbon emissions in line with the University’s Sustainable Travel Plan.
• Introduces a new lower emissions band to reflect the on-going move towards lower emissions vehicles.
• Enable us to use the additional income to continue our investment in alternative transport initiatives and the maintenance and improvement of our car parks and infrastructure. More detail is available in the Sustainability tab below.

Disadvantages:

• Colleagues with older and therefore higher emission cars will be disproportionately affected by this approach.
• This approach will result in an increased impact for staff in salary bands B and C as evidence suggests that they are more likely to own higher emission vehicles.

This approach will be based on salary only and uses the existing salary bands across the University. This option will introduce an increase in charging for permits across all salary bands where the more you earn, the more you will pay for a parking permit.

The proposed charging structure for this option can be seen in the table below along with the difference in price and percentage change:

Salary bandBand B-CBand DBands E-FBand GBands H-P2P3+
Annual permit price £126 £213.5 £283.5 £336 £388.5 £441
Difference to current prices

-£20.56

(-14%)

+£66.94

(+46%)

+£136.94

(+93%)

+£189.44

(+129%)

+£241.94

(+165%)

+£294.44

(+201%)

The introduction of this charging structure will sit alongside the introduction of new eligibility criteria for parking permits. This new criteria will bring all colleagues onto the same system and will redefine the eligible postcode areas to reflect the availability of public transport. More detail is available on this, under the ‘Changes to eligibility criteria’ tab below.

Benefits:

• Enable the continued investment in alternative transport initiatives and the maintenance and improvement of our car parks and infrastructure.
• Charging is appropriate to income, with salary bands taken into account.

Disadvantages:

• This will not support the University’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions.
• Colleagues who have previously made vehicle purchasing decisions based on emissions will be disadvantaged.

This approach will result in a charging structure that will take account of both salary and vehicle emissions. This option will introduce a progressive charging structure for annual parking permits that will link to salary. There will continue to be a discount to the permit price for vehicles with lower CO2 emissions, and an extra band will be added to reflect the ongoing shift to lower emission vehicles. Overall this will result in a decrease in charges for most colleagues in salary bands B and C, and an increase in cost for bands D and above.

The charging structure for this option can be seen in the table below. The table also shows the pricing difference (+/-) and the percentage change for each:

EmissionsSalary Band B-CBand DBands E-FBand GBands H-P2Prof 3+
High (>140)

£180

-£73.5 (-29%)

£305

+£51.5 (+20.3%)

£405

+£151.5 (+59.8%)

£480

+£226.5 (+89.3%)

£555

+£301.5 (+118.9%)

£630

+£376.5 (+148.5%)

Middle (120-139)

£144

-£15.5 (-9.7%)

£244

+£84.5 (+53%)

£324

+£164.5 (+103.1%)

£384

+£224.5 (+140.8%)

£444

+£284.5 (+178.4%)

£504

+£344.5 (+216%)

Low (100-119)

£108

+21.39 (-24.7%)

£183

+£96.39 (+111.3%)

£243

+£156.39 (+180.6%)

£288

+£201.39 (+232.5%)

£333

+£246.39 (+284.5%)

£378

+£291.39 (+336.4%)*

Lowest (<100)

£72

-£14.61 (-16.9%)

£122

+35.39 (+40.9%)

£162

+£75.39 (+87%)

£192

+£105.39 (+121.7%)

£222

+£135.39 (+156.3%)

£252

+£165.39 (+191%)

*Please note the proposed carbon tariff offset arrangements have changed to include a ‘Lowest’ tariff. The existing discount for Middle and Low tariffs is calculated on a 33% and 66% reduction on the high tariff respectively. To accommodate the new ‘Lowest’ tariff a discount proposal of 20%, 40% & 60% reduction to the Middle, Low, ‘Lowest’ tariffs is applied to the high tariff respectively. This adversely affects the % change on the existing Low tariff to achieve a consistently across all the tariffs.

New eligibility criteria will sit alongside this approach and this will bring all colleagues onto the same system and will redefine the eligible postcode areas to reflect the availability of public transport. More detail is available on this, under the ‘Changes to eligibility criteria’ tab below.

Benefits:

• Charging is appropriate to income, with salary bands taken into account.
• Enable the continued investment in alternative transport initiatives and the maintenance and improvement of our car parks and infrastructure.
• This approach will allow the University to explore the implementation of new initiatives for future sustainable travel. More information on this is available in the Sustainability tab below.
• This will continue to provide an incentive for colleagues to invest in lower emission vehicles.

Disadvantages:

• This approach results in a disproportionate increase in the pricing structure for the low band. This is to ensure proportionality in the discount across the emissions bands remains consistent.

A new, fairer, evidence-based approach to assessing eligibility for parking permits will be introduced across all options.

This new approach will enhance the existing broad postcode-based system where staff living within EX1, EX2 and EX4 are not eligible for a car parking permit unless they meet University agreed exceptions. This will enable us to determine eligibility based on a number of criteria including the availability of public transport, travel time and the cost of that public transport. This will result in a more detailed list of eligible postcodes and a mapped outline of the areas that this covers.

The introduction of this new approach will help to free up car parking spaces for those that are least able to take up alternative transport, for example, colleagues with higher journey times, unsociable working patterns and those with carer responsibilities. Colleagues with these exemptions will still be able to apply for a permit.

This approach will apply to all colleagues, including those who will have requested permits prior to October 2013, and will ensure all eligible permit holders follow the same system going forward.

Alongside these changes, the University’s ‘infrequent car parking’ systems need updating to ensure that they complement the revised annual permit systems outlined in options 2-4, and also support our Sustainable Travel Plan. This includes the existing authority to park permits, visitor permits and pay and display charging.

As a result, the University is looking to implement the following changes for options 2-4:

• Increasing the Authority to Park Permits to £2 per day in line with the new annual permit prices structure and the equivalent daily rates.
• Ensuring our pay and display pricing structure is aligned to the parking charges in Exeter (Zone 2)
• Increasing the cost of visitor permits in line with the pay and display rates.

The changes to the pay and display structure are outlined in the table below.

Time Existing charges Proposed charges
2hrs £2 £3
4hrs £4 £5
6hrs (visitors only) £6 £10

 

Options 2-4, will enable the University to continue to subsidise the D bus and free minibus from St David’s station to campus. These options will also allow the continued investment in the temporary new sustainable transport measures currently being introduced as part of Project North Park – this includes:

• Expansion of the Stagecoach bus discount to include all city routes
• Introducing three pool cars on campus that staff can hire by the hour
• A personalised travel plan service for all new staff
• Introducing free sustainable week-long travel tasters to new and existing staff

These new measures are being introduced throughout 2019 and will be funded by Project North Park for two years. Options 2-4, will allow the University to continue funding these measures into the future.

The measures will complement the existing free car share arrangements, and we will continue to promote and use the current car sharing scheme. We will also look at how we can make the scheme more accessible to colleagues, and improve the services we offer.

Option 2-4, would also allow the University to explore the implementation of new initiatives for future sustainable travel. A range of additional opportunities, supported by surplus car parking revenue could be explored, including:

• Growth of a city-wide e-bike scheme with cycle hubs on our campuses
• Additional areas for cycle parking and an annual review to ensure the space meets demand
• Installation of more lockers and shower facilities to support staff who wish to walk, cycle or run to work
• Extension of the University minibus service to provide a daytime inter-campus shuttle service
• Installation of a network of electric vehicle charging points for staff, visitor and fleet usage
• Development of a daily rate system so that parking is automatically charged for when entering the campus