Sixth formers will be asked to help fund a new £500,000 car park at their own college, it’s been revealed.
Pontefract New College wants to build a permanent space for cars and coaches dropping off students, having used adjacent land belonging to Pontefract Park for the last three years.
That temporary arrangement allows students to leave their cars on that site between 8.30am and 4.30pm in term time. It was put in place in 2016 after complaints from local residents about vehicles being left in front of their own houses.
The scheme has now been extended for another year by Wakefield Council’s licensing committee, with a view to New College building its own car park, by next October.
But while New College has pledged some cash for the car park, sixth formers who drive will be asked to pay for using it as well, to offset the cost and encourage use of public transport.
Pontefract North councillor Clive Tennant criticised New College for the length of time the process is taking.
Speaking at a licensing committee meeting last Wednesday, he said: “The word temporary is supposed to mean a short period of time.
“The New College has been dragging its feet on this for quite a while.”
In response, the council’s highways officer Robert Gillicker, said: “The biggest stumbling block has been the funding.
“So the cost of the project is half a million pounds and we haven’t been able to find any mainstream funding for that. That’s the reason for the hold up.
“New College are willing to pay towards a permanent facility. They recognise that students should use the buses instead of coming in their cars, so they intend to ask students for a contribution towards parking in the new permanent facility.”
New College could not be reached for comment, and it is currently closed for half-term.