Reserve pool

The pool could also apply where the availability of parking is affecting staff retention, especially for lower-paid posts or ones that are difficult to re-fill. It is not intended to provide an overflow facility.

Applications for reserve pool spaces are authorised by the Transport Planning Working Group (TPWG) and the University’s Travel Officer.


Applications should be made for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Disability (other)
  • Family commitments
  • Other (e.g. departmental requirements, staff retention)

Applications for disabled parking should be the first priority in departments’ allocation of permits and you should not seek to use the reserve pool for this purpose.

Any application for the reserve pool must be demonstrably weaker than applications that you have already met through your departmental allocation. The working group would not normally expect to receive reserve pool applications on grounds of operational need, unless you have given this a lower priority than all the other criteria.

When the reserve pool can help

  • You may have a new member of staff or an employee whose circumstances have changed. If this is a higher priority than one or more of your existing permit holders, you should require the person with the lowest priority to relinquish their permit. You may then apply to the reserve pool on their behalf

If the new application is lower priority than those you have already met but higher priority than those you have already rejected and you feel there are strong grounds, you should make a reserve pool application on behalf of the new member of staff. Even if it is the same priority as the applications you have rejected you may still think it is strong enough to apply to the reserve pool.

Have a look at the below example of how an application will be assessed.

  • You should not use the reserve pool as an alternative to the permit applications appeals process. You must first reassess your decision to refuse the application. If you then feel that the case is weaker than all successful applicants but stronger than the others rejected, you can apply to the reserve pool. 

If as a result of a reassessment, you displace an existing permit holder, you can apply to the reserve pool on their behalf. 

Application example

There is an application for a reserve pool permit from two departments who both have a new member of staff with a medical condition making walking distances difficult. There is only one permit available – which does the TPWG choose?

This is what their application forms say:




Grounds for application for reserve pool permit

Family commitments:

Lives in Witney and takes young child to and from school each day


Medical condition makes walking distances difficult

Peak time permits allocated



Applications for peak time permits



10th permit allocated (weakest case)

Family commitments:

Lives in Witney and takes young child to and from school each day

Inadequate public transport:

Journey from home in East Hanney using Park and Ride takes 50 minutes compared with 40 minutes door-to-door


On the face of it, Department B has a stronger case because the reason given is disability and because demand outweighed supply.

But Department A has reviewed all its applications and decided that the new member of staff has stronger grounds than the other permits it has allocated. It, therefore, reallocated its weakest case permit to the new person, so its application is for someone who had to give up their permit. Its case is therefore stronger.

If Department B’s application were chosen, the Department A staff member with family commitments would have lost their permit while the Department B staff member would be allowed to use their car rather than the Park & Ride to save time.

How to apply

Complete the application form: University Departmental Application Form for Additional Permits (Reserve Pool)

You should normally apply for reserve pool spaces during the summer vacation with a deadline of 1 October but you can apply during the year as the need arises. The TPWG will not reconsider applications it has already turned down.

Reserve pool application form


Contact us

Sustainable Travel team

+44 (0) 1865 2 88782