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The best universities for student and disabled student parking

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If you’re taking your car to university, it’s worth thinking about your parking options. You don’t want to spend too much time looking for a parking space or blow your budget paying for it. Our guide to the best universities for student and disabled student parking can help you.

Cars parked infront of a university

The number one spot for student parking goes to the University of Bolton. It’s best known for its Engineering, Architecture and Nursing courses. As well as being great for student parking, the University of Bolton also has some of the lowest course fees in the UK.

There are a number of parking spaces off Wellington Road available to University of Bolton students for free. This includes designated parking spaces for disabled students who hold a Blue Badge.

The University of Wolverhampton offers over 250 undergraduate and 120 postgraduate courses. Based in the West Midlands, with over 23,000 students, the university is often chosen for its Business, Cybersecurity and Engineering courses.

The university operates carparks across its main bases at City and Springfield Campus in Wolverhampton. There's also a carpark at the Walsall and Telford Campuses, with permits available based on circumstances. Parking is completely free of charge for disabled students with a Blue Badge. 

St Mary’s is ideal if you want to study in London, on a leafy campus with good parking. It’s famous for Sports Science, Business and Teacher Training. Among its former alumni is none other than Mo Farah, the double Olympic champion athlete.

Students can park on campus for up to 12 hours for just £2.00 using the Justpark App. Disabled students with a Blue Badge get access to a number of designated parking bays across the campus.

St Andrews is Scotlands oldest university. It's located in the town of St Andrews on the east coast of Scotland, about 30 miles from Edinburgh. It ranks highly academically, having recently even surpassed Oxford and Cambridge in some surveys. The University of St Andrews is celebrated for its degrees in:

  • Neuroscience
  • Chemistry
  • Art History
  • Economics
  • English
  • International Relations
  • History

We rank it as the fourth-best university for student and disabled student parking in the UK. Students can apply for a permit to park for free at 4 separate student residences. There are also plenty of public parking spaces near its main campuses, many of which offer free parking for 2 hours.

With 3 campuses, 2 in Sunderland and 1 in London, the University of Sunderland is particularly well known for its Pharmacy, Education and Business courses. 

Students living in halls of residence get free parking at that accommodation site. But they’re not allowed to park on teaching campuses from 8am to 5pm on weekdays. Instead, students are asked to use the university’s free bus shuttle service for travelling to lectures. Students who don’t live in university accommodation can apply for a permit to park on campus at a reduced rate – 35p per hour (up to a maximum of £1.30 per day). Disabled students with a Blue Badge get access to various parking bays where they can park for free.

Abertay is a modern university based in Dundee, eastern Scotland. It’s famous for having a strong focus on IT. It's courses in Cybersecurity, Games Design and Programming being in demand. Abertay has a partnership with Peking University in China and good links with companies such as Sony and Microsoft.

Parking is available only a short walk from the campus at Dudhope Castle, free for 2 hours or £2.50 per day. There are various other carparks offering free parking for 2 hours close by as well. The university offers free parking spaces to disabled students on campus.

The University of Bedfordshire offers some great facilities, including a specialised Art and Design building and Business Pods. People often choose the university for its courses in:

  • Nursing
  • Journalism
  • Social Work
  • Tourism Management courses

Students can apply for a campus parking permit costing £150 for the academic year. There are also termly permits for £65 covering term 1 and term 2, while term 3 is at £48. A monthly permit is available for £24. Pay and display tickets cost:

  • 30p for up to 1.5 hours
  • 70p for 4 hours or £1.40 per day

Disabled students can get an annual permit to park on campus for free.

Staffordshire University is spread across two campuses in the towns of Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent. It’s a good choice for Computing, Psychology and MBA courses. The university has some enviable partnerships with industry, including titans like Microsoft and CISCO.

Students can apply for a permit to park on campus, costing £15 per quarter. Disabled students with a Blue Badge can get a free permit to park in designated bays. 

York is a bustling cathedral city in North Yorkshire – a popular tourist spot close to the Yorkshire Dales, situated about halfway between London and Edinburgh. York St John University traces its origins back to Anglican teacher training colleges set up in the 19th century. Today, it’s plauded for Theology, Physiotherapy and Psychology courses.

Students commuting from outside of York can apply for a campus parking permit costing £60 for a full academic year. Those living in halls of residence get a free parking permit for where they live – the campus and accommodation sites are located in the centre of York. Disabled students with a Blue Badge are always guaranteed to get a free permit for on-campus parking.

Stirling is a city in central Scotland, about 26 miles northeast of Glasgow. The university campus itself is out of town, at just under 3 miles from Stirling city centre. It's well known for its Economics, Sociology and MBA courses.

There are some 1,500 parking spaces available on the campus. Students can get a standard full-year parking permit for £215. Campus parking is free for disabled students displaying a Blue Badge.

University of Stirling students can get a free parking permit for their halls of residences.

Universities in England, Scotland and Wales

Students are assumed to attend university for 180 days a year (3 terms of 12 weeks of 5 days) apart from Oxford and Cambridge where they are assumed to attend for 120 days (3 terms of 8 weeks of 5 days).
Where a university has multiple campuse students are assumed to attend primary campus.

Each university assigned a provision score from 0-3
3: Any student may use or apply to use parking
2: Parking available with some restrictions including distance or ease of commute via public transport
1: Very limited parking available for students with medical need, caring responsibilities or other such exceptional circumstances
0: No parking for students on site other than those with a blue badge.

Cost of external parking is based on the cheapest facility within a 20 minute walk where it is possible to park for 8 hours a day - if no facility is within 20 minutes, the price of the nearest such facility is listed.
Cost of campus parking is based on the typical annual, termly or weekly permit price, or on using pay & display or similar daily facilities for each day of the academic year depending on what each individual university offers.
% of disabled spaces based on the number of car parks and on-street sites within a 20 minute walking distance of the campus - N/A indicates there are no parking facilities within this range.

It should be noted that many universities actively discourage students from driving to campus unless absolutely necessary.

Sources

Individual university websites
parkopedia.co.uk

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