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April 7, 2008 | by  | in News |
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University getting enviro-friendly

Vic Commute is calling for staff and students to enter their submissions for Victoria University’s travel plan, created in 2007 to promote sustainable transport and to help commuters.

“The University is committed to encouraging sustainable transport such as walking, running, cycling, public transport and car-pooling. A range of initiatives have been developed in conjunction with staff car park management to reduce the environmental impact of travel and to benefit health.”

The proposed car parking changes are to affect staff only, as VUWSA runs student parking. The travel plan aims to designate certain spaces for those who car-pool, a pay and display for one day and ad hoc (random) parking needs. The other staff car parks will be designated on a prioritized system, giving preference to those who live outside the one-bus zone, or those who transport others with them to university. Car park prices are also expected to rise.

VUWSA’s Environmental officer Mark Newton questions whether these plans will change anything. “It remains to be seen whether the higher price on parking will discourage staff from driving. The success of these proposals will in part be evident by the number of empty parks on campus.”

The plan was developed as part of the New Zealand Transport strategy, administered by regional councils. The plan supports Victoria University’s aim to decrease its environmental footprint, and to hopefully become carbon neutral.

Although travel plans are relatively uncommon in New Zealand yet, Massey University Palmerston North’s free bus shuttle to university led to a reduction of 800 vehicles travelling to campus in 2006. The service remains in 2008.

Students and staff can continue to make submissions for the plan until April 18. To view the plan, find out more information or to make a submission head to www.victoria.ac.nz

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