MAASTRICHT. The introduction of the UM’s new mobility policy, also referred to as ‘parking policy’, has been postponed. The University Council and the local consultative body have advised the Executive Board to first consult a larger group of employees and students. “We want a solid plan that creates more support among those involved,” says vice-president of the Executive Board, Nick Bos. The objective remains to curb the use of cars.
The proposal submitted just before the summer (the latest version from October has not been made public) still states that everyone would have to pay for parking. Those who live closer would have to pay more. Public transport would be free and cyclists could expect compensation of one euro if they live further than 15 km away, for those living closer it would be fifty cent.
There was supposed to be a final plan by October. Even though the mobility policy was already on the public agenda several times this year, it was discussed in the confidential part of the latest meeting of the University Council and a meeting of the local consultative body (between unions and the Executive Board). “It was time to critically evaluate the process followed so far. That is sometimes better done behind closed doors,” Bos explains. There the idea was that a “broader investigation among employees and students was required. Until now, we had limited ourselves mainly to members of the representative advisory bodies; a number of them were members of the committee that drew up the mobility policy. We, the members of the representative advisory bodies and the Executive Board, want to open ourselves up to more creativity, hear what other people think. What do people think about the bicycle bonus? For example, would cyclists rather be able to take a shower at work than receive compensation? Maybe we need to ‘rethink’ the whole plan.”
There wasn't that much misunderstanding about the main lines of the plan, says a council member. But a matter that “is so close to the people, is likely to create a lot of noise. You need broad support to make this a success.”
Another point of concern for the University Council was the financial basis. Bos: “There was a minor discrepancy between what would be collected via paid parking and the investment in things like the bicycle parking facility, the bicycle bonus, the cost of public transport. But that difference was not dramatic and based on assumptions.”
It is not clear yet when the new proposal will be completed. Bos: “Our communication department will now give advice on how we should consult those involved.”