UNIVERSITY of Ballarat students are furious at a potential council decision to remove four-hour parking from near the university’s Camp Street campus.
Ballarat City Council plans to change the four-hour parks in Camp Street to one or two-hour parks, to free up space for the relocated Ballarat Visitor Information Centre.
It would also include the creation of two longer caravan parking spaces.
Almost 50 arts students took to Lydiard Street yesterday in protest against the changes, which are still being considered.
Protesting outside the current site of the visitor centre in Lydiard Street, the students chanted “we can’t make art if we haven’t got a park”.
Police attended the protest, moving the group away from the edge of Lydiard Street and onto the footpath.
Protest organiser and student senate member for the Camp Street campus Aubrey Flood said she was upset neither the students nor the university had been consulted by the council.
She said if the parking spaces were removed, students would be forced to walk a long distance to their cars and risk walking in the dark.
The nearest free car park is behind Safeway in Little Bridge Street, although it is known for being dangerous after hours.
“Sometimes our classes don’t finish until about 11 o’clock at night and it can be pretty bad trying to get back to your car at that time,” said Ms Flood.
“You often hear of students who have been assaulted walking back to their cars late at night.
“Parking is already at breaking point and this is going to make it that much harder.”
A City of Ballarat spokesperson said parking arrangements were still being finalised. He said the issue of pedestrian safety was taken into consideration, evidenced by the installation of CCTV cameras throughout the city. Of the 3340 car spaces in the city, 90 are currently four-hour parks.
“There are a range of parking options across the city, including all day options located nearby in the rail precinct,” said the spokesperson.