A few days ago, a car belonging to a foreign student was burned on the Fort Sint Pieter car park, after having been broken into a while ago. This is not the first time. Because of the lack of affordable parking places, many foreign students park their cars for extended periods on the edges of town or in residential areas.
This should end, according to the Christian Democrat (CDA) members of the Maastricht city council. “The parking pressure in the neighbourhoods keeps increasing and on the outskirts of town, students often find their cars broken into, vandalised or now even burnt,” says CDA council member Peter Geelen. “We have been trying for three years to get cheap parking places for students, but neither the city government nor the university can be moved into taking action.”
The alderman continues to say that students are not prepared to pay for parking places, according to Geelen. “Personally, I think that students are prepared. Not forty euros a week, as charged in the Q-Park car park on the Cabergerweg. But twenty or fifteen. This would imply that the city council and the UM should contribute financially.”
Council member André Postema: “Do you really believe that students will pay 20 euros a week, 50 weeks a year, to be able to park their cars? I think this is a serious problem, which has become extra urgent because of the acts of vandalism, but to solve it requires a little more creativity. We have proposed to the city government to create facilities free of charge on the town's periphery, where students could also park their bicycles if they want. I think that students are definitely prepared to leave their cars a little further away. They already do so at the moment, in those neighbourhoods where parking is still free.”
The question is whether the UM is prepared to make funds available. “I could imagine the university contributing to the security of such a facility, but not to the construction. That is a responsibility of the city.”