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

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 Applications - Current Timeline:


Semester 2 permits are now open for application. If you have a student full year permit, this is not required. It is primarily aimed at those students that now require a car to access the campus for semester 2, i.e. did not have a car in semester 1 or had a semester 1 permit only.

These can be applied for via the car park management system

Processing of permits:-

Application on or before 5th January Reviewed 6th January
Monday 10th January 2nd batch of applications
Friday 14th January Final batch of applications and appeals reviewed

As modelling shows that attendance on campus is likely to be fairly close to pre-pandemic levels, it is essential that we manage car park access in this way.  Reflecting hybrid working etc, the permit system will be more flexible than previously, with the opportunity to pay for day permits by app or on your phone. We will be employing number plate recognition technology so that we will not need to use the barrier.

How to Apply

To create and account or start an application, please go to

When creating an application you must supply two pieces of supporting documentation.  These are:-

1)  The V5 for the vehicle

2)  A proof of address - This should be term time address and suggested items would be a bill, lease agreement, etc. 


The application process for permits will begin on Wednesday 5th September.  Please note that processing of applications will not be carried out on a first come, first served basis.  Applications will be processed in batches on a needs basis, as per the per the University Parking Policy



Enforcement is currently scheduled to commence with effect from Monday 27th September utilising ANPR to identify vehicles without a valid permit

The enforcement of permits and their validity will be primarily carried out via the ANPR system found at the main entrance. This will be supplemented by enforcement patrols carried out by the Campus Operations team. Tickets issued must be appealed to the Parking Operator as detailed on the ticket and not to Queen Margaret University.


Use of car park 

All car park users must continue to park considerately and appropriately as, whilst permit enforcement is suspended, parking patrols will be carried out and those parking out with bays, in accessible spaces without a valid blue badge, etc, will be issued with a warning/ fine as deemed appropriate.  All car park rules are clearly signed at various locations around the car park. 


Visitor Vouchers (previously known as Day Permits)

A limited number of day permits may be available on a first come first served basis and are now available to pay online, via the Open Parking website, via the app(found on Google Store or Apple App store or by text. 

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.  

The site code for QMU is 2002


Parking in Queen Margaret University Drive

We would also remind you that parking on Queen Margaret University Drive including the access to the Accommodation site is not permitted and that enforcement is carried out by East Lothian Council.


Parking, Travel & Transport Options

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

Staff permit options are as follows:

  • Single Day Permit
  • Annual Permit (of which there are 5 types: general, car share, disabled, shift permit and essential business user permits

Student permit options are as follows:

  • Single Day Permit 

Visitor Parking:

If you are visiting the university for an event or conference there is no additional parking cost. If you are attending a meeting or workshop you might qualify for free use of the car park. If this condition applies you will already have been sent a permit by the event organiser.

To avoid unexpected fines, please refer to the parking information below for Visitors, Staff and Students, and make use of the contacts provided with any queries you might have.

Users with postcodes excluded by system

The system for annual permits automatically sifts applications based on home postcode.  In the event that you are unable to complete an application as your postcode is excluded, please complete an “APPEAL” application through the system.  A guide can be found on the browser website.

Proof Documentation 

All applications require 2 x proof documents.  1 document must be from the “VEHICLE” category and one from the “RESIDENT” category.  Suitable documents from each category are as below:-


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


If you have any queries relating to parking, please contact us at

Please read our full guide, for those wishing to purchase daily parking. See our daily parking guide


To create an account or start an application, please go to:

When creating an application you must supply two pieces of supporting documentation. These are:-

  1. The V5 for the vehicle
  2. A proof of address - this should be term time address and suggested items would be a bill, lease agreement etc.

Visitor Parking

Coming to campus for meetings/workshops

Please contact the organiser of your visit in advance to make arrangements. Upon arrival at main reception, you will be given a visitor smartcard which is required to exit the car park.

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. Please contact the events staff with any event parking queries.

General visitor parking

Any visitors outside of the above can use the carpark but will be required to purchase a "daily visitor voucher" through our online system. The cost of this voucher is £5/day.  Please see the daily parking guide button on this page for a step by step guide on completing this process. 

There is no physical voucher/ permit to be displayed within the vehicle as all validation checks are carried out utilising ANPR based software. 

 *Please note that use of the carpark is only restricted at the following time, but this is subject to change:

21st September - 31st May, Monday to Friday, 8:00am-5:30pm
No permit is required outwith the above times

Staff and Student Parking Permits

Single day permit

Staff and students who would normally be using other means of transport, may have occasional need to bring a car.  There is a single day permit to facilitate this with a part day permit available should the need be required upon review of the use of the car park

Annual permit

There are 5 types of annual permit available to Staff. The 3 below are applied for directly by staff and students

  1. General Permit
  2. Car share Permit
  3. Disabled Permit

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

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

Permits must be applied for fresh each year. If a permit is surrendered for any reason may be eligible for a pro-rata refund.

More Permit Information

General permits

General 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. Students living in on-campus accommodation will not be permitted to park on campus unless exceptional circumstances apply. E.g. students on placement may be allowed for the length of their placement to park on campus. Charges will apply.

Permits are charged on a sliding scale based on vehicle engine carbon profile. Permit costs will be pro-rated for part-time staff.

In response to student feedback, we have created a single semester permit, which is particularly useful for those students who are on campus for half of the year and on placement the other half. Semester one permits will be issued from 1st September - 31st January. Semester 2 Permits will be issued from 1st January - 31st May.

Co2 Emission Figure Yearly (Sept- May) £ Single Semester (student) £
Up to 100 g/km 51 28.5
100-120 g/km 60 33.5
121-150 g/km 92 51
151-165 g/km 140 78
166-185 g/km 210 117
Over 185 g/km 269 150

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

Car share permit

Car share: Cost of permit - £60/Group

As part of our commitment to reducing the environmental impact of vehicular access to the campus, QMU has invested in a car sharing scheme. It aims to: reduce the impact of single car occupancy on the local environment, offer staff and students an alternative to lone driving wherever possible, and utilise QMU’s limited car parking resources as efficiently as possible.

When permits are allocated, priority will be given to those who choose to car share. Car sharing is defined as when two or more registered drivers share the journey to and from QMU by car. Individuals wishing to car share should register online (QMU Car Share)

**Driving with non car owner passengers does not constitute car share, as they would otherwise be using public transport.

Individuals who are members of an external car share group will be issued ordinary permits, if appropriate, as part of the general permit scheme for staff and students, they would not qualify for QMU car share permits.

One person must be the primary applicant of the carshare. They will need to submit the application and provide verification documents for all members.

A single permit and "smartcard" will be provided per group. There is a £10 charge for replacements. The card should be returned to the parking office at the end of each academic year.

Car share applicants within 3 miles of campus or those living at the same address do not qualify for a permit unless there are exceptional circumstances.

A number of spaces in row C of the carpark are reserved only for carshare permit holders.

Disabled permits

Staff and students in possession of a valid blue badge do not require a permit to use the carpark. Please make sure to the blue badge is prominently displayed inside the windscreen so that all details are clearly visible from outside the vehicle.

Non blue badge holders are eligible to apply for general permit, and will need to supply appropriate evidence to qualify them for a permit.

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.
Where a disabled permit holder has a regular helper/driver, rather than drive themselves, that driver may qualify for a 50% reduction in their personal permit price.

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 manager. Essential user permits are charged at £100 which cost will be borne by the user’s department.

Parking Permit Appeals

In the event that your parking permit application has been declined, there is the opportunity to appeal this decision. An appeal should be made where you feel insufficient consideration has been given to your extenuating circumstances, i.e. caring arrangements, or where new information has come to light which was not in the originally application but may increase your likelihood of being issued a permit, i.e. you are moving house.

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.

Once the appeal is created, you will be able to track its progress in your account, under the “My Applications” tab. It will be passed to a senior 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, a valid daily parking voucher will be required.  This can be purchased through the same system as applications are lodged at a charge of £5 per day.  A guide can be fund on this page to walk you through the process. No refund will be given on the cost of daily parking permits if a full 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.

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 Yearly (Sept- May) £ Single Semester (student) £
Up to 100 g/km 51 28.5
100-120 g/km 60 33.5
121-150 g/km 92 51
151-165 g/km 140 78
166-185 g/km 210 117
Over 185 g/km 269 150

How likely am I to get a permit?

The likelihood of getting a permit is based on a number of factors, such as proximity to the campus and availability of public transport options. We will be processing applications in batches and those that receive permits will do so based on need/ requirement.

I stay in the student accommodation; can I get a permit?

Residents in the accommodation will not normally be granted a permit; if you have mitigating circumstances 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.

Which supporting documents do I need for my parking application?

 Please upload the following 2 Supporting Documents in your permit application:

- Proof of term-time address

- A copy of your vehicle's V5 form (the vehicle logbook your car is given upon registration)

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 requirements.

Do I have to do this every year?

Once we have verified the details within the application, the items are deleted and no longer held to meet with data Protection requirements. This therefore means that we require your documents at each application.

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.

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 University website. Day permits are available at a cost of £5 and can be purchased via our web based system or the paysmarti app found on Google play store and Apple app store

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

You should still apply for permit and follow the standard process.  

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