Published: 07/11/2017 13:00 - Updated: 07/11/2017 10:39

College principal 'very, very worried' about drivers' bad behaviour

Written byVal Sweeney

Inverness College principal Chris O'Neill urges drivers to stick to a 5mph limit in the car park.BOSSES at Inverness College UHI have warned of a clampdown on bad driving in the campus car park following a catalogue of incidents.

College principal Professor Chris O’Neil (left) said he and colleagues had been on the receiving end of verbal abuse and he was worried there could be a serious accident. 

"I am very, very worried about some of the behaviour in the car park," he said.

"That includes people without blue badges parking in the blue badge spaces, driving at excessive speeds and ignoring directional arrows on the floor.

"We have had near-misses with students coming very close to very serious injury, I am concerned it is only a matter of time before something untoward happens. In a recent incident, two cars drove into each other because they were fighting for a space and there was minor damage to one of the cars."      

There have been reports of delivery vans blocking access for spaces designated for emergency services and anecdotal evidence that people are leaving their vehicles in the 525-space car park when they jet off on holiday from the city’s airport.

The college has had brief, informal discussions with the police but hopes that by publicising the issues, people will amend their behaviour.

Consultations will also be held with representative groups including the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association (HISA) to determine what action should be taken.

"I will not tolerate poor and dangerous behaviour in the context of my responsibilities at UHI and the associated car parks," Prof O’Neil said.

"I take this extremely seriously. People have to understand this is a place of learning and the people who use and contribute to this place have to be treated properly and with respect."

Inverness HISA president Gabriel Starr was disappointed to hear about alleged poor and dangerous driver behaviour in the congested car park.

"While there is no excuse for road rage, the causes of congestion at the car park are varied and complex," she said. "HISA would like to see more affordable and more frequent public transport options available for students who live outwith Inverness city centre."

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