Parking problems near the University of York (UoY) have improved “significantly” – but there is still a way to go, according to a ward councillor.
Osbaldwick and Derwent councillor Mark Warters said it would be “churlish” of him not to accept progress had been made since he submitted a petition to the council last year about parking “chaos” in his ward.
After neighbouring Badger Hill voted to bring in a residents’ parking scheme, university students and staff who wanted free parking were pushed to streets further out, with Tranby Avenue particularly badly hit.
UoY’s director of technology, estates and facilities Harvey Dowdy told a meeting of the customer and corporate services scrutiny management committee that a campaign to remind students of the importance of being good neighbours had paid off.
“Since the start of this term, there has been no obvious congestion in the places that were previously highlighted,” she said.
Cllr Warters said: “Initiatives that have taken place have been fairly effective. The parking has returned to Tranby Avenue, but certainly not on the scale that it was when it became a major issue last year.”
The independent councillor said the number of problem cars was down to single figures, from more than 30 previously.
The university has submitted a travel plan to the council for 2022-2025, which is currently being reviewed.
Cllr Warters added: “But there shouldn’t be any of these cars needing to park there – they should all be accommodated on campus.
“Everybody’s saying we’ve got sustainable travel plans, but it’s not sustainable to displace problem parking, amongst other issues, to surrounding neighbourhoods.”
Cllr Warters and fellow ward councillor Martin Rowley have previously said residents do not want a parking permit scheme as a way of tackling the problem.
Cllr Warters said he feared that the university’s desire to expand would only add to the problem in future.
“Things are improving,” he said. “It just needs to be taking that step further.”
The council and the university are against the idea of making parking on-site cheaper or adding more spaces as their joint overall aim is to reduce the number of journeys made by car.
Ms Dowdy said the latest figures showed a drop of more than 2,000 car journeys being made to the university per day, partly driven by an increase in hybrid working.
She added: “We would very much hope that it doesn’t follow that increased development means more car parking – we are increasingly trying to get people out of cars, and onto bicycles, by foot and onto public transport.”