Parking police punish poor student drivers

Lincolnshire Police issued 1,084 parking tickets in one year on Ruston Way in Lincoln, alongside the Pavilions student accommodation.
The road was used by many of the development’s residents last academic year, and became notorious for frequent ticketing by the police.
The figure, released by Lincolnshire Police in response to a freedom of information request put in by The Linc, covers the 12 months from August 1st, 2008 to August 1st, 2009.
It is the equivalent of almost three parking tickets being issued every day for the entire calendar year.
Phil Lindley is a third-year student who lives at Pavilions and says he received perhaps 25 or 30 tickets on Ruston Way last academic year. “I’ve lost count, literally,” he says.
At £30 a ticket, this one road will have raised over £30,000 for the police, since if a ticket is not paid within a certain amount of time the fine increases.
“Because everybody parked down there it was very lucrative for them. The biggest mistake I made was not paying them off straight away… I’m sure I paid for [the police’s] Christmas bonus.” In total, he thinks he may have paid £1,000 in parking fines last academic year.
Parking options for students in Lincoln are incredibly limited, though most advise students not to bring their cars. Even so, for those who do bring their cars, “It’s so restrictive round here if you want to park, it’s ridiculous,” says Mr Lindley. Cont. p3

Lincolnshire Police issued 1,084 parking tickets in one year on Ruston Way in Lincoln, alongside the Pavilions student accommodation.

The road was used by many of the development’s residents last academic year, and became notorious for frequent ticketing by the police.

The figure, released by Lincolnshire Police in response to a freedom of information request put in by The Linc, covers the 12 months from August 1st, 2008 to August 1st, 2009.

It is the equivalent of almost three parking tickets being issued every day for the entire calendar year.


Wheel clamping in force: student parking in the university’s car park is only available at weekends and after 4.30pm daily, when most of the students have no lectures or seminars. | Photo: Sam Cox

Phil Lindley is a third-year student who lives at Pavilions and says he received perhaps 25 or 30 tickets on Ruston Way last academic year. “I’ve lost count, literally,” he says.

At £30 a ticket, this one road will have raised over £30,000 for the police, since if a ticket is not paid within a certain amount of time the fine increases.

“Because everybody parked down there it was very lucrative for them. The biggest mistake I made was not paying them off straight away… I’m sure I paid for [the police’s] Christmas bonus.”

In total, he thinks he may have paid £1,000 in parking fines last academic year.

Parking options for students in Lincoln are incredibly limited, though most advise students not to bring their cars. Even so, for those who do bring their cars, “It’s so restrictive round here if you want to park, it’s ridiculous,” says Mr Lindley.

At the Pavilions there are only 12 parking spaces available for students to use, despite the many parking bays in front of the complex’s residential blocks. Those spaces are inaccessible for car users for most of the academic year, kept behind a locked gate that residents can only go through on foot.

Priority for the few spaces goes to students on nursing and social work courses, and those wanting a spot have to write a letter or email explaining their need. Even then, the permits cost £400 for the academic year. With almost no alternative option, many students have no choice but to park on Ruston Way’s pavement.

Those living in the student courts are also out of luck as there is no on-campus parking for students, though they can use the University car park after 4.30pm on weekdays and at weekends.

Similar to the Pavilions, there are parking spaces nearby, but are unavailable for use and signs warn of “24 hour clamping.” Things are easier for students living in houses. For those who live in Residential Parking Zones, such as in the city’s West End, permits for on-street parking can be bought from Lincoln City Council.

However, since shared student houses are classed as “Houses in multiple occupation”, or HIMOs, students pay a fee of £52 per permit. This is double the £26 that an ordinary household would have to pay for its first permit. (A second or third permit would cost £52 each.)

For those whose can’t get parking at their accommodation, and still want to bring their cars, there is only really one option left: use an NCP car park. The company sells “season tickets” to its facilities, providing a month, three months, or a year’s worth of access.

But this does not come cheap. For a student who wants to have their car in Lincoln for the entire academic year, it would cost at least £680. On top of the cost, the location of the NCP car parks in Lincoln may mean a long walk before you can drive.

Nearly everyone recommends that students don’t bring their cars to Lincoln. The University’s Residential Services department, who are responsible for the student courts, say that everything in the city is so close you don’t need one.

Though he continues to bring his to University, Mr Lindley says his advice to first-year students would be to “only bring it if you absolutely need it”.

Another third-year student, Steve Ward, said: “Lincoln is a very small and compact city. You don’t really need a car to get around.” He admits that “the only reason I’ve got a car here is to do big shopping trips”.

5 Responses to Parking police punish poor student drivers

  1. I still can’t get over how much they have made from this… over 30k!

  2. Nick Jackson says:

    I have to say though… don’t park where you’re not allowed. It’s a simple thing, you can’t complain about a parking ticket if you’re parked on a double yellow line. There are two issues here – one is a lack of parking, and one is students who don’t know how to park!

  3. Matt Cousins says:

    But we’re not parked on double yellow lines, we’re parked on the kerb in between the white line and the road (cycle lane). And it just so happens that the cycle lane on this road isnt even used as it isn’t a busy enough road to warrant having a cycle lane and it is a dead end anyway. I just got a ticket today and I am not paying for Lincolnshire Police’s Christmas Doo.

  4. Lucy Jackson says:

    I love how there is always some sort of reason to complain about students. ‘Students who don’t know how to park’ – what sort of a remark is that? There are plenty of non-students who park down there, who also do not know how to park. I live at pavilions and study at Riseholme. I need my car with me for that reason. There is a bus, but the times are just so inconvenient and it would mean that I can’t be flexible – something which i need to be when i also have a part time job. The parking in Lincoln is just ridiculous. Yes, a lot of students do not really need their cars, but for people like me it’s more a necessity really.

  5. Holly Robinson says:

    I live at Junxion currently, and I had to write a letter explaining why I needed a space. I need one due to a disabled mum back home, who if needs me I can get home in half the time when I drive, compared to getting the train. It’s mad, I had to pay £400 in total this year, and they say they only have 5 spaces.. it’s really bad! Some students need their cars at uni. And the uni dont take that into consideration.