Parking on Campus

The University encourages all staff, students and visitors to think sustainably in their travel choices when coming to campus.

As part of our commitment to reducing unnecessary car use, we enforce a robust parking policy. In order to avoid receiving a fine, please make sure you read the information below before travelling to campus by car.

Parking Permit Applications 

Applications are now closed for the 2023/24 academic year.

Applications for the 2024/25 academic year are expected to open in early August. Please check back for updates once dates are confirmed. 

You’ll find more information parking permits, including costs and how to apply in the sections below.

Application Processing Timescales & Deadline

Please allow up to 10 working days for your application to be processed.

Your application may take longer to process if you do not provide the correct documents to support your application. Staff and students are therefore advised to submit their application as early as possible.

Submission of an application does not mean that your permit request has been approved. There is no guarantee that submitting an application will result in a parking permit being issued due to limited availability.

Once an application form is received and processed, applicants will be notified by email whether their application has been successful or not. If your application is successful, you will receive guidance on how to accept your permit offer and make payment.

Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances, for example new staff who have joined the University after the application closed or where there has been a significant change in circumstances. Please contact for further guidance.

Alternative Travel & Transport Options

If you require further information on travel, transport and parking options please visit our Location and Getting Here pages or look out for the dates of our next travel clinic where you can find out more about money saving options.

If you have any queries relating to parking, please contact

Parking Policy, Rules & Regulations

Everyone operating a vehicle on campus should observe the Parking Policy and Rules & Regulations Governing the Use of the QMU Car Park.

Prior to submitting an application for a parking permit please ensure that you review the Parking Policy and Rules & Regulations Governing the Use of the QMU Car Park. When you submit an application, you are agreeing that you have read and understand the policy, rules and regulations.

If you have any questions about the parking policy or enforcement, please contact

Parking Permit Types & Costs

Annual Permits

There are 5 main categories of parking permits. The 3 below are applied for directly by staff and students.

  1. Staff Permit
  2. Student Permit
  3. Disabled Permit

While the 2 below are arranged and paid for by departments for particular job roles.

  1. Shift Permit
  2. Essential Business User Permit (EBU)

Permits must be applied for each academic year.

Permits are allocated on the basis of need, against specific criteria, such as distance and availability of public transport, medical need, or adult or child care needs. There is no guarantee that if you meet the criteria listed above that you will be offered a permit. You may be asked to provide additional information/evidence to support your application. It is important that you provide the requested information within the timescale specified to enable us to properly assess and progress your application. If you fail to respond your application will be declined automatically. 

Students living on campus are only eligible to apply for a permit in exceptional circumstances. Please read the Residential Student Permits section below for more information.

Permit Costs (2023/24 Academic Year)

Permits are charged on a sliding scale based on vehicle engine carbon profile.

CO2 Emission Figure


(Sept - May) 

Single Semester

(students only) 

Up to 100 g/km



101-120 g/km



121-150 g/km



151-165 g/km



166-185 g/km



Over 185 g/km



Part time staff costs are pro-rated. The parking system automatically calculates your permit price provided correct information has been entered into your application.

Single semester permits are only intended for students who are on campus for one semester. Semester 1 permits will be issued from 1 September – 31 December. Semester 2 permits will be issued from 1 January - 31 May. Please do not apply for a Semester 1 permits if you are likely to require parking for the full academic year as you may not be offered a Semester 2 permit.

Residential Student Permits

The University actively discourages residential students from bringing cars onto the campus as it reduces the spaces available for those with genuine reasons to commute to the campus.

Permit allocations will only be made to residential students in the following circumstances:

  • Medical grounds - students who are a Blue Badge Holder or have been assessed and approved by the Disability Service.
  • Course-related grounds - students who require a car to attend placement as part of their academic course – note that permits may only be offered for the period of placements.

Regrettably, parking permits cannot be issued to enable you to travel to external activities, including paid employment.

If you meet the criteria to apply for a residential permit, you will need to submit a Residential Student Parking Permit Application. Please note there is no guarantee that if you meet the criteria above that you will be offered a permit. If you are asked to provide additional information/evidence you must do so within the timescales specified to enable us to properly assess and progress your application, otherwise your application will be automatically declined.

Residential students who do not satisfy the above criteria should not apply for a permit as they cannot be authorised.

Disabled Permits

Staff and students in possession of a valid blue badge must still apply for a permit to use the car park as their vehicle must be registered on our ANPR system. There is no cost for a Disabled Permit.

Disabled Permits can be applied for via the How to Apply section below.  When an account is created, a Disabled Permit is the permit type that should be selected. In order to support the application, a copy of the blue badge must be added or endorsement from Health and Safety or Disability Services provided.

Any applications made which do not have the relevant supporting details will be rejected.  

A temporary disabled permit may be issued to individuals, where considered appropriate, who have temporary need to be close to the entrance of the building for health/injury reasons.

Permits issued are for the benefit of the person who has the disability only and are not transferable.

Shift Permits

In certain cases, such as shift workers there will be a shift permit paid for and retained by the department, in recognition of the lower frequency of public transport provision during certain times of day.

Essential Business User Permits

An essential user is a member of staff whose duties require extensive offsite travel, that is, virtually every day. Nomination as an essential user will be contingent upon verifiable data supplied by the departments and on request of the head of department/unit. Essential user permits are charged at £100 which will be charged to the user’s department.

Please note that Car Share Permits are not available in 2023/24.

How to Apply

The application window for 2023/24 permits has now closed.

Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances, for example new staff who have joined the University after the application closed or where there has been a significant change in circumstances. Please contact for further guidance.


Please ensure you have read the information on this page and have copies of your supporting documentation ready to upload before applying through the parking permit portal. 

Apply for a parking permit


Supporting Documentation 

All applications require a minimum of 2 proof documents which you'll need to upload at the time of your application. One document must be from the VEHICLE category and one from the RESIDENT category. 

Suitable documents from each category are:


V5C Log Book
Vehicle Lease Agreement
Insurance Certificate


Driving Licence – provided it is registered to your term-time address
Bank Statement
Council Tax Bill
Tenancy Agreement

Permits are allocated on the basis of need, against specific criteria, such as distance and availability of public transport, medical need, or adult or child care needs. There is no guarantee that if you meet the criteria listed above that you will be offered a permit. After reviewing your application we may require you to provide additional information/evidence to support your request for a permit. It is important that you provide the requested information within the timescale specified to enable us to properly assess and progress your application. If you fail to respond your application will be declined automatically. 

If false or misleading information is provided in order to obtain a parking permit, your application will be withdrawn immediately and action may be taken under the appropriate University disciplinary procedures.

The annual application window for parking permits is open for a limited period only. After its closure, applications will only be accepted if you are a new member of staff with a contract starting date after the date the application window ended or where there has been a significant change in your circumstances. You should contact in the first instance, providing details of your reasons and supporting evidence.

Parking Permit Appeals

Your application is likely to be declined if you do not meet the eligibility criteria or can't provide the required documents/supporting evidence. In the event that your parking permit application has been declined, you may have the opportunity to appeal this decision. An appeal may be made if you believe that there is information or exceptional circumstances that was not considered in the initial review of your application or where new information has come to light which was not in the original application but may increase your likelihood of being issued a permit, i.e. you have moved house or have received a new medical diagnosis.

An appeal must be made within 14 days of being issued with notification that your application has been declined. If your application was submitted after the application window has closed, you do not have the right of appeal.

If you wish to make an appeal, the process is as follows:

  1. Log into your PermitSmarti Account
  2. Click for a new application
  3. Complete a “Permit Appeals” application.
  4. Complete this application with reasons for appeal/ why you need a permit.
  5. Attach all supporting documentation to support the reasons for your appeal.

Examples of acceptable documents to support your appeal include:

Medical condition if you have medical and/or mobility problems that mean that you need to park on campus.

  • A letter from medical professional confirming your condition and medical need to park on campus.
  • A letter from the Disability Service or a copy of your ILP confirming your condition and need to park on campus as part of your adjustments.

Caring responsibilities where you are the named individual that has a caring responsibility that means that you are regularly required to drive at any time to provide care.

  • A headed and signed letter from a professional, such as a doctor. This letter needs to clearly state that you have full caring responsibilities for a named individual and support your stated reasons.
  • A local authority or similar organisations carers’ assessment 
  • Details on why public transport or the park and ride is not an option.

Other exceptional circumstances   

  • Supporting evidence that demonstrates the need for you to have a permit to park on campus during core hours, including details of why public transport or the park and ride is not an option.

Please ensure that you have provided all relevant documents and information to support your application. Failure to include such documents may lead to a rejection of your appeal or a longer processing time.

Once the appeal is created, you will be able to track its progress in your account, under the “My Applications” tab. It will be reviewed by a manager and a decision made. The reasons for the decision will be provided to you at this stage. This decision is, however, final and no further appeals can be made following the completion of this process.

At all times during the appeals process, the daily parking rate must be paid for each day you are parked in the car park.  This can be purchased via PayByPhone app at a cost of £5 per day, further details can be found in the Daily Parking section of this webpage. No refund will be given on the cost of daily parking if a permit is granted on appeal.

It should be understood that the number of parking spaces and permit allocation restrictions underpin the University’s commitment to reducing single occupant car use and due consideration must be given by those making an appeal that the University has a long standing commitment to sustainable methods of transport where possible.

Daily Parking

Daily parking is offered via our 3rd party providers online app, PayByPhone, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store

After downloading the app, it is suggested that you should populate your registration and payment details into the system first before trying to purchase a voucher to make the process easier.  

Daily Parking can also be purchased using the PayByPhone website or via text when within the car park. 

These should not be purchased in advance as they do not guarantee a space. 

The current charge for daily parking is £5 per day 

The site code for QMU is 807056

Guides to assist with install and use 

Visitor Parking

Coming to campus for meetings/workshops

Please contact the organiser of your visit in advance to find out if you are eligible for free parking. Your vehicle registration should be provided to the organiser at least 24 hours before attendance on campus to ensure you are registered on the parking system and do not receive a Parking Charge Notice.  

It is your responsibility to check with your host that you are registered on the system.  

Coming to campus for events/conferences

If you are coming to the university for one of our events or conferences, there is no additional cost to use the carpark provided you have registered with the organiser of the event at least 7 days before the start. Failure to do so may result in the need to pay the daily parking rate of £5 to park your vehicle.  

Please contact the Events team with any event parking queries

General visitor parking

Any visitors outside of the above can use the car park but will be required to pay the daily rate of £5 to park. More information can be found in the Daily Parking section of this page and on signage in the car park.  

 *Please note that use of the car park is only restricted at the following times:

1 September - 31 May, Monday to Friday, 08:00-17:30
No permit is required outside of the above times


Open Parking operate an ANPR based parking management system at Queen Margaret University.  

ANPR operates very similarly to CCTV. A high definition infra-red camera is positioned at the entry/exit point to the car park which will capture number plates of all vehicles as they enter/exit the area.

The evidence captured by the ANPR camera is then analysed and cross referenced against a large database of the permitted rules for that car park or area. If the rules of the car park are broken, then enforcement is carried out by way of a parking charge notice being issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle by post.


From 1 September until 31 May parking permits are required between the hours of 0800 to 1730, Monday to Friday. If you do not have a valid parking permit you will need to pay the daily parking rate or find alternative parking off campus. 

Enforcement is carried out via the use of our ANPR based camera situated on entry to the car park. In the event that someone parks without a valid permit or payment of the daily parking rate, the registered keeper of the vehicle will receive a £60 Parking Charge Notice, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.    

Additional enforcement patrols carried out by the Campus Operations team. Tickets issued must be appealed to the parking operator, Open Parking, as detailed on the Parking Charge Notice and not to Queen Margaret University.

You can view, pay and appeal your Parking Charge Notice online by visiting Open Parking's website.

Parking Management Provider

Open Parking (trading name of Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions Ltd), is contracted to provide parking management and enforcement services at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. 

Open Parking is the UK’s largest provider of parking, environmental and traffic management systems. Open Parking is a member of the International Parking Community’s “Approved Operator Scheme” and is also affiliated with the Higher & Further Education Parking Charter. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have to pay to park in the car park?

As part of the University’s commitment to sustainability and in line with the Green Travel Policy, QMU has identified a robust parking management system as a key mechanism in road traffic reduction as well as a major influence on travel choice.

You can find more information on the University Parking Policy and Green Travel Plan Strategy.

How do you determine the price of a permit?

There are five categories of permit cost and each is based on the CO2 emissions from your vehicle. The five categories and prices are as shown below:

Co2 Emission Figure Annual (Sept- May) £ Single Semester (student) £
Up to 100 g/km 51 28.50
100-120 g/km 60 33.50
121-150 g/km 92 51
151-165 g/km 140 78
166-185 g/km 210 117
Over 185 g/km 269 150

I live in the student accommodation on campus; can I get a permit?

Residents in the accommodation will not normally be granted a permit; if you have medical grounds or course-related requirements these may be taken into account in determining your eligibility for a permit.

I have childcare commitments; does that guarantee me a permit?

There are a number of mitigating circumstances and exceptions that will be taken into consideration when a permit application is released. This is why we ask on certain permits for as much supporting information as possible to enable us to make an informed decision.

Why do I have to send my proof of address/vehicle V5?

We use these items to support your application and ensure that you live where you say you live (you must use your term time address for your permit application) and that the CO2 emissions are what you have completed in the application form. We also require proof of any exemptions that you have informed us of to make sure we are assigning permits to those with the greatest need e.g. caring commitments.

I can’t see the emissions data on my V5 or don’t have it, is there any way that I can find out the CO2 emissions of my vehicle?

There is a government website that can assist you with regards to this.

Does a permit guarantee me a space?

A permit does not guarantee you a space. We assign permits to an agreed limit which should ensure availability of spaces based on patterns of use and frequency which staff and students attend the campus. A permit means you are entitled to park in the car park. There may be times when the car park is at full capacity and you will have to wait for an available space or seek alternative parking at your own expense. 

What should I do if I cannot get a permit?

If you do not get a permit, there are a number of other travel options available. They can all be found on the getting here section of the website. Limited day permits may be available at a cost of £5 via the PayByPhone app, as detailed in the Daily Parking section of this webpage.

I bring a motorcycle to work, do I need a permit?

Owners of motorcycles are not required to register or display a permit unless they opt to park in a full parking space.

Where else can i park if not on campus?

As an alternative to parking on campus, please consider the use of the local Park and Ride facilities at Newcraighall and Wallyford which are all connected by direct bus services to QMU.

Parking at Wallyford Park & Ride is free and can be accessed via a 4 minute train journey. 

If these frequently asked questions have not helped with your query, please contact