Image: Tom Boon
[Cathal Charker | Contributing Writer]
Following a meeting two weeks ago, the University of Hertfordshire has decided to change its plans to increase prices for the Park and Ride bus service. Originally planning to increase the price from 20p to £1, the plans have now been changed, thanks in large part to the actions of the Students’ Union and in particular Students’ Union President, Jack Amos, and Vice President of Democracy and Services, Grainne O’Monghain.
Previously the University had placed the prices at 50p a person to ride the Park and Ride bus from the car park, this was put down to 20p due to heavy building works on campus. For the academic year starting 2015, the University originally decided to raise the price to £1 in order to bring it in-line with other Uno buses and to discourage people from bringing their cars to University to lower carbon emissions.
In a meeting with the University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Ian Campbell, on Tuesday 13th October, Jack Amos explained the Students’ Union’s position on the matter, stating that the price rise was too much and made little sense. Ultimately it was decided to leave the price at 50p, when asked about it, Amos stated that he was “Really happy with the result,” and that overall his action would, “save students over £25,000 across the academic year.”
We also asked Amos whether he believed the issue was done and dusted or if it would surface again, to which he responded, “I very much doubt it. The University spends a lot subsidising the Park and Ride service, and they will be keen to recuperate more of this money if they can.”
However, when asked if the Union would respond if the issue arose again, Amos stated, “[Herts Students’ Union] will always act on the feedback of students… so if the issue arises again, I’m sure there’ll be a response.” When asked about whether there was more to be done about the Park and Ride service and its policies, Grainne O’Monghain talked about having the service charge per vehicle rather than per person in order to increase the use of car pooling, which would also fall in-line with the University’s desire to reduce carbon emissions.
Amos said that he will, “Fight for student rights every day, to ensure that students receive a fair deal during their time at Herts.”