So far, a little more than forty foreign students – Germans and Belgians – have submitted an application for a parking permit in an area surrounding the centre. Not what one would call a run.
Four weeks ago, it was made known that foreign UM students who do not have a room in Maastricht or its immediate vicinity, and who travel up and down for every tutorial, may apply for a parking permit in certain areas on the outskirts of the centre. For this, they would have to pay 5 euros per month. Maastricht University and the city council hope with this initiative to reduce the number of cars parked in areas where parking is free.
In all, 275 permits are available in Brusselse Poort, Mariaberg, Villapark, Sint Pieter, Jekerdal and parking lot Noorderbrug/Franciscus Romanusweg. These are areas in the so-called B-zone (paid parking at a lower rate for permit holders) that are closer to the university buildings in the city centre than the areas where parking is free at the moment. With this parking permit, foreign UM students can park their cars from Monday to Friday between 8.00 and 19.00hrs.
Student Services determines whether applicants meet all criteria. The city council then issues a permit. “No, there is no run on permits yet,” concludes policy adviser Jo Haesen from Student Services. How many applications had you expected? “We really did not know. We estimated that some 20 per cent of the German students commute, which would work out as about 800 people. But of course they do not come to Maastricht every day. Moreover, this figure also includes a lot of people who carpool. The limited interest could be put down to lack of awareness of the new regulation. Some students probably don’t think it's worth the trouble applying for a permit just to be able to park a couple of hundred metres closer to the UM,” Haesen thinks. He expects that interest will increase through word-of-mouth advertising. “Applications (via firstname.lastname@example.org) can be submitted all year through. Application procedures take a maximum of three weeks.”