Keep the current UNO scheme for travel to campus and integrate park and ride into it
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This is a petition for keeping the current travel scheme between the campuses and involve park and ride in it.
The University of Northampton and the SU have agreed to the changes in the bus travel that would involve two different fare zones (inner zone £0.50 SINGLE, outer zone £1 SINGLE, park&ride fare £1 RETURN). The students are frustrated and unhappy with the decision as they were not consulted on the matter. Neither of the parties involved in the decision making seemed to have taken into account the impact this is going to cause for all the students.
Firstly, it is unfair that people living in the student accommodation will be receiving free bus passes and the rest of the students will be getting nothing. On the Q&A session, it was claimed that all the students are being treated equally in regards to transport which is clearly not the case across the board in the entire matter.
Secondly, it is unfair that the travel between two active campuses (Avenue and Waterside) will not be free and on top of that, students coming into lectures on Avenue will have to pay a parking fee for the day. So not only do they have to spend the money on the bus (or gas/tickets if commuters) to get to Avenue, they will also have to pay for a ticket to go to Waterside if they wish to use the library as the library service will not be available for them at Avenue. This is absolutely ridiculous as it is cutting students off from their basic learning needs and is in the process forcing them to pay if they wished to go and use the more appropriate University facilities.
Thirdly, park and ride is located in an inconvenient place as it is and it is ridiculous to ask of students to pay for a bus fare on top of that given that they are already paying money for gas and other car related things in order to be able to come in in the first place. Students have also been advised to use the local parking in Northampton which is basically always full and probably doesn't make the students feel as safe as when they park at the University-owned parking. Not to mention that parking in town is usually very expensive so if someone has to come in 3 or 5 times a week, they will be paying quite a sum.
Fourthly, the entire new scheme is time-consuming. If you have a car you probably have to take quite a lot of time drive in (and I imagine that time is going to take a lot longer now given that the campus will be located in the town centre) and add to that you will have to spend at least 20 more minutes on the bus to get to your destination. If you park at Avenue then you have to pay for the parking and pay for the bus that will once again take at least 20-25 minutes in good traffic conditions. This is absolutely impractical and impossible for people with children, commuters and people who work part or full time along with their studies.
You might think that a £1 or £2 return ticket is not a lot of money to ask for but it adds up to quite a sum if you have to come in 3-5 times a week over 7-9 months and if you have to pay for the parking on top of that. It is the type of money a lot of students cannot afford as they are already struggling with their current income and all the things they have to pay for. The university is providing a number of benefits all available to newcoming students yet they haven't at a single point stopped to consider how to take care of their existing ones. The bus fares only further reflect on the issues we all as students have been having lately and frankly, we have had it.
As students of this university we deserve and should be (at least) consulted on matters like this that will impact our livelihoods and income situations. We shouldn't be put in place by the university and constantly sprang upon or ganged upon as the Students' Union seems to have supported the University in this matter rather than their own students. The university needs to STOP making and creating situations where they present things for student benefit if they never bother to consult and hear our voice in the first place. This kind of practice is what lead to the other issues such as laptops and if nothing has been learned from that situation then maybe the University should take a good look at themselves and their practices as all they are doing is tearing down the student experience instead of building it up.
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