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.
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”.Tweet