Parking pain: UOW students shut out residents

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Keiraville, Gwynneville and North Wollongong residents are becoming increasingly frustrated by the number of University of Wollongong students leaving cars parked all day on the suburbs' streets.

Murphys Avenue, behind the botanic garden, and the streets between it and Gipps Road (split between Gwynneville and Keiraville) are lined with cars using the free street parking for most of the day.

Porter Street and Railway Crescent, on the western side of North Wollongong Railway Station, are also filled with vehicles.

Railway Crescent resident Tanya Casey said students left their cars parked on the street all day, often close to corners, in no-stopping zones, across driveways and in front of garbage bins awaiting collection.

She said students caught the shuttle bus after parking their cars and she had seen students get picked up by other cars to take advantage of the free car-pool parking at UOW.

"I know they are desperate for a car park, but I think the university and council should be putting their heads together to build a few car parks more out of town and running the bus from there."

UOW student Davy Conacher said he often parked on the streets after trying for a spot at the university's paid parking.

He said he understood why residents would be annoyed their streets were filled with students' cars, and believed a good solution could be a "satellite" car park, where people caught a shuttle to the uni.

UOW transport projects senior manager Tom Hunt said they worked closely with Neighbourhood Forum 5, covering Keiraville and Gwynneville.

"There's not a lot we can do further than what we are, as while there is free parking on the streets close to the university people are going to be using it," he said.

Mr Hunt said the university was encouraging more people to walk, use bicycles and take public transport.

It had conducted regular surveys to see how many students and staff parked on nearby streets. The latest survey showed numbers had plateaued over the past five years.

He said students who took advantage of free car pool spaces by picking up extra students on surrounding streets would be banned from using the car park the rest of the session.

Wollongong City Council was unable to comment by last night's deadline.

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