By Bethan Thomas-Rowlands
I'm a student in my second year at the University of South Wales studying Media, Culture and Journalism. As someone who has to travel to go to university I know all too well how hard it is to find somewhere to park with reasonable prices. Especially if you have to travel back and forth every day. I am in University 3 times a week, 11 hours a week, and so it costs me around £15 to park, which equates to £64 a month, and £512 a year. As well as having to pay £3810 in student fees this is an extra cost making it an additional expense to get an education!
I think the University should get a better parking price for students who have no choice other than to travel in. After doing quite a bit of research into this and trying to find places to park around the Cardiff Campus, the Atrium, I decided to contact NCP that has a car park right outside the University, their reply in my eyes was a bit of a joke! I asked first how much it would cost me to park for the year and this was their response:
Then I asked if there was any chance i'd be able to get a discount as I am a student, unfortunately this was the best they could do: ""I know all too well the hardships of student expenses, unfortunately NCP does not offer student rates for parking… The cheapest we can offer in all of Cardiff is £90 a month, £900 yearly".
After finding out that the NCP weren't going to offer me any discount I decided to contact the university and ask whether they could help. I wrote to firstname.lastname@example.org, SU Education & Welfare Cardiff & Newport that deals with general enquiries, this was their response:
""Have you considered getting a train? It's £24 a week from Bridgend to Cardiff central – you can also get month and yearly passes! You can also check the price of season tickets for the NCP car park – which should cut down your costs."
I knew by now that the NCP season ticket wasn't an option and as a last resort I contacted Cardiff Council to see whether they could suggest somewhere cheaper to park around the university. This was the response I got from the Council:
"Annual passes for Sophia Gardens car park cost £820 for 12 months. Unfortunately we do not have any car parks which issue discounts for students. It might be worth speaking with the University to see what they suggest as they might have a private car park."
After looking into this issue, it seems unfortunately that there's no other option that to pay high prices to park! I truly feel strongly as someone studying in Cardiff that the University, Council and Parking companies should consider offering a discount for those who study here. It's expensive enough to get an education and so making an effort to help students save money to park would be something that would be greatly appreciated by many!
Here are some who empathise with me, who have commented on twitter: