Two papers on transport are being developed in relation to the return to campus in September. Keele UCU has not received a copy of either. We are aware that some members are at higher risk to this virus and their only option is to use public transport, hence we want to engage in meaningful consultations with the university to ensure that all H&S aspects are explored and observed.
Transport matters have been discussed in relation to capacity (in situ teaching and to hall occupancy) and refer to a reduction in teaching and residential capacity. There are three key areas concerning transport which will directly affect members and students:
Cycling: There are discussions around increasing affordable access to bicycles to decrease the need to use public transport for some staff. Discussions were also held on alternatives to scratch cards and the need for a new system to record cars used by cyclists as per the current scheme.
Public Transport: Bus capacity will be reduced by around 55% for social distancing (an example of a double-decker that usually holds 80 but will now only hold 20 was given) but only if the ‘every 10-minute’ service is maintained. Buses will have a ‘sanitisation system’ that lasts for 24 hours. We do not have details on how that works. This reduced level will mean that ~1200 people will be moved on and off the campus per day and any additional services can be provided only at additional cost to the university and might be limited by campus infrastructure. Keele UCU raised questions around other safety measures on buses, such as ventilation and filtration, but thus far more answers and solutions are needed.
Parking: In some ways it’s refreshing to get back to our old friend campus parking. The University is considering extending the teaching day in part to accommodate parking on campus. These are some of the measured proposed and explored in the discussions:
- The University is considering to re-open car park E1 (next to Darwin). This will require groundworks so it will have an associated cost.
- The university is looking to offer additional permits to students and this will be calculated based on the numbers from HR of staff working fully from home. How additional permits will be taken back of students when staff return has not been worked out.
- No scratch cards for parking will be available, but visitors will need to register in advance of coming. Paperless parking permits are expected to be in place from Sep 2020. We understand that it is likely that Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) will be used for enforcement. We are satisfied that ANPR will not be used for other purposes such as to monitor attendance.
- Pay and display is planned to be limited to 4 hours per car, per day for staff and students.
- Keele UCU raised concerns over parking permit costs. We have been told that these papers propose that staff will continue to pay for their permit regardless of if they are working from home or not. It has been agreed to include UCU’s objection in the paper.
- Solutions are planned in relation to family-friendly parking and to move it to a gated car parking area, where gates will only be opened at the appropriate time each morning.
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Keele UCU Committee