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The University of Leeds
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Studying at Leeds
Leeds & Yorkshire

Issue 475, 21 January 2002


Parking policy unfair to low-paid staff

R Cuthbert
Cardiovascular Studies

The UniversityÕs policy on the allocation of parking spaces is sexist and unfair. LetÕs face it – the majority of staff using the parking facilities do not need to drive to work and I include myself in this group. However, the alternative in my case is a one and a half to two-hour trip on the bus, meaning that I can spend up to four hours a day travelling to and from work.

This compares to a forty-five minute journey by car. I donÕt know anybody else who is expected to pay to park at work outside of the University. The people who are made to pay the most are, in the main, staff who have been at the University a comparatively short length of time – less than five years – and are also the more poorly paid members of staff. So the people who most deserve low-cost parking are the ones who are made to pay the most – £50 per month. In my case, this means I have to work almost three weeks out of the year just to earn money to park at work.

I have filled in an application for a parking permit but saw little point submitting it as with the current points system I would almost double the number of points I currently have just by being female. On the form it states this is due to the increased risk for women travelling by public transport. I regard this policy as sexist and would like to know on what grounds the University have made this assumption. Equality should work both ways.

Finally, I would like to point out that there is in my opinion no shortage of parking spaces. I myself never have any trouble parking in a morning as there is always plenty of room. In fact some zones such as black zone are never full. For example, on the day I write this letter, at approximately 13:00 hrs I counted 27 spaces empty out of the 56 total available. So when will the University admit that its policy on parking allocation is no more than a cynical attempt to make money out of the more poorly paid members of staff?

If you call names, best get it right

Professor A C T North
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Does the Reporter not know that the wife of Sir Alan Wilson is Lady Wilson, not Lady Sarah? The latter style applies to the daughters of Lords.

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