ONE of Cork’s biggest third level colleges is introducing pay parking on its sprawling suburban campus.
Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) confirmed last night that the fee will be introduced in one area of its Bishopstown headquarters from September.
The news has sparked fears that it will force more student cars out of CIT car parks and into already congested neighbouring estates.
Fine Gael Cllr John Buttimer said some students don’t use CIT’s car parks because it’s easier to get out of the estates at peak times.
“Pay parking will make that situation worse and what you will see is more students applying for residential parking permits.
“CIT, it would appear, is embarking on this process as part of a revenue generating exercise without any real and meaningful attempt to tackle the problem.”
But a spokesperson for the college defended the move.
She said it is designed to reduce the use of cars by single occupants, and encourage a switch to more sustainable modes of transport.
The CIT campus has about 1,600 car parking spaces in total. The pay parking will be introduced on about 15% of those — about 240 spaces.
The affected spaces are all towards the back of the campus, near CIT’s all-weather pitches. A daily fee of e2 will be charged.
Motorists will be able to use their college ID cards to activate parking barriers and the parking machines will take cash and credit cards.
As part of the change, some parking spaces will be converted in to new and secure bicycle parking zones.
The spokesperson pointed out that CIT is well served by buses, with two orbital routes stopping outside its main gates. She also confirmed that college authorities are exploring the possibility of introducing a park and ride system.
CIT, along with the nearby Cork University Hospital (CUH) and University College Cork (UCC), are among the top three generators of traffic in the city.
CUH has introduced park and walk and park and ride schemes to reduce parking on its Wilton campus.
UCC, which has paid-for parking at several car parks, has also introduced several park and ride services.
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