We’re on the road to nowhere: parking in UL is Carmageddon

By Elaine Whelan Oct 2, 2019

For anyone who has or is learning to drive, you will know all too well the ordeal that comes with it.

The 12 stressful lessons, the logbook becoming your best friend and worst enemy and the countless hours spent trying, and failing, to reverse around a corner.

Then comes the dreaded test where you sweat more than Fr. Ted in the lingerie department.

Image result for father ted lingerie department

Provided you don’t crash and burn, and you pass your test, you then have to spend hours trawling through DoneDeal used car ads only to find that they’ve all been crashed and your dad says the mileage is too high.

And for the sake of my sanity, we won’t even mention the insurance costs.

But you do it all willingly so that you never have to have to endure to bus to and from college again.

Imagine going through all that, proudly cruising to college on the first day of the semester only to find that there is less car parking spaces in UL than there are people at stables on a Wednesday night.

As well as assignments, exams, and deadlines, the struggle for parking is a daily battle that the students of the university face.

This problem is caused by a significant lack of available parking facilities made available to students.

The University of Limerick is home to around 13500 students.

Many of these students travel from near and far to attend their lectures each day, many by car.

However, when these students arrive at their destination, they are greeted by a mere 2200 parking space – not all of which are even accessible to students.

UL consists of four free, and four paid on-campus car parks, which vary drastically in size, but due to the high demand are often always filled to capacity.

Once, on a rainy Monday lunchtime, I toured each UL car park for 55 minutes in the hope of finding a home for my beloved Yaris.

In my rush, I accidentally parked in the centre of a staff car park and upon my return two hours later, saw a security man circling it like a vulture ready to pounce, flustering me so much that I stalled the car twice trying to make my escape.

Why though does this problem still exist when there are numerous unused green spaces dotted all around campus? Could these useless stretches not be cleverly utilized to become something that the students of UL desperately seek?

Perhaps we could even avail of park and ride systems that have been rolled out in UCC and NUIG, cutting down on both parking and traffic problems on campus.

Ten minutes today, 55 minutes tomorrow, the time-consuming space stalking eats into time that should be spent in lectures, therefore the lack of parking is affecting our education slowly but surely.

However, despite the possible changes that can be made, this issue, unlike us, is parked and here to stay.



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