Students of JMU may be 'unaware of the consequences' of not involving themselves in the university as solutions for travel problems to satellite campuses are put forward.

 

Travel Administrator for LJMU Donna Gutteridge said: “I don’t feel the student voice has been heard. To get ideas past the planning stage we need strong student involvement and student-to-student interaction.”

 

A university-wide survey about transport reinforced this sentiment when only 3% of students and 21% of faculty responded. In addition, a meeting yesterday about transport problems was largely unattended by students.

 

James McGarvey, Vice-President of Community at Liverpool Students Union, insists that students can come together to improve their university, but believes they aren’t recognising that, saying: “People see LSU as a bar, but we want to get students in to make changes.”

 

He also noted that many students are interested in simply obtaining their degrees, and don’t think it’s worth trying to change their university experience.

 

His claim is backed by a joint petition with LSU and a Screen School student helped create a £50 reimbursement for a year of students who were not told they would be travelling to Edge lane when they applied.

 

The petition also helped to create improved student provision in Merseytravel’s TravelWise brochure.

 

Petition founder Sam Rogers said: “Until recently no one knew the extent of the difficulties we face because of travelling issues; from getting to uni, to handing in coursework and collecting equipment.”

 

A large overhaul of LJMU’s transport is on the way, and problem areas such as IM Marsh and Edge Lane are being given special consideration. However, for ideas in the proposals such as dedicated taxi links and improved student prices for bus routes to function, faculty are looking for students to be a part of the process.

 

Other less likely solutions put forward include a bike rental scheme, car-sharing, a £24,000 a year shuttle and a £113,000 per year bus from the city centre. While it is the Screen School’s favoured option, the report indicates that a bus or shuttle would be a “significant” cost to the University.

 

Time is also a factor for Screen School students; the department will be moving back to the city centre in two years. If travel problems for students aren’t dealt with soon, they are unlikely to be resolved before the move. Sam Rogers said: “Something has to be done now, not two years down the road.”

 

Students interested in discussing their travel problems are encouraged to visit the Better University Forums, hosted by LSU which take place once a month.

Transport problems plague students

By James Hague

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Buses are just one of the ways students use to get around. Pictures by James Hague.