Kirstie Allsop has criticised a university in Bristol on social media after she claimed it offered a ‘close family friend’ student digs that were around 40 miles from campus.
The furious TV star took to Twitter to slam the accommodation – in Cheltenham – that was given to the fresher, saying he now faces more than an hour’s commute by train each day to reach the University of West England’s Frenchay campus.
Her post, which has now had more than 88,000 views said the student, who she described as ‘a second generation immigrant who is the first in his family to go to uni’, would be better off getting a job than paying to commute and study.
The Location, Location, Location star wrote: ‘A very close family friend has just begun at UWEBristol but guess what…his accommodation is in Cheltenham!’
She added: ‘(Station 25 mins walk from campus, train journey 41 mins and £12.60 return) that’s not student life is effing commuting, he might as skip uni a start work right away.’
Based on a five-day commute to the Frenchay campus from Cheltenham by train, it’s estimated it would cost the fresher more than £250 in travel costs a month.
The 52-year-old presenter said the student ‘is being grossly exploited by his university.’
Allsopp wrote: ‘This young man is an only child & second generation immigrant who is the first in his family to go to uni. He was failed by the Gov during Covid with regard to his GCSEs and is now being grossly exploited by his university.’
MailOnline contacted the University of West England for comment.
A spokesperson said: ‘Bristol has become an increasingly popular destination for university students. This, combined with the increasing demand for university places and living on-campus and the rise in the cost of living, has placed additional pressure on our accommodation. We are working hard to build even more on-campus accommodation over the next few years to ensure we can meet these demands.
‘The students allocated to Cheltenham and Gloucester accommodation will be supported with a 30% student travel discount card, and we are also working with the Students’ Union and the building operators to ensure welcome activities are provided and that students living off campus feel as much a part of UWE Bristol as those living on campus. The off-campus accommodation is situated in vibrant student areas, and we have received positive feedback from students living there.’
They added: ‘We are near to completion on a 900-bed student accommodation development on our Frenchay campus, and we had hoped to have this available from September 2023. However, this is large-scale construction project and during the project market conditions have shifted considerably and have been very challenging, both in terms of supply chain and labour, which has led to an unavoidable and regrettable delay in completion.’
The post sparked a fierce debate over acceptable commuter times for students, with many suggesting to Kirsty that her family friend should suck up the costs and the travel.
One wrote: ‘I had to bicycle 40 minutes each way to get to lectures and seminars. That was over 20 years ago so really nothing new.’
Another chimed in: ‘Lots of student accommodation around the Frenchay campus and more currently being built on it. Plus lots of rental properties in Fishponds area. Why live in Cheltenham?’
Kirstie responded: I will leave ‘UWEBristol to answer that, the idea that someone in the their first year should have to bare this expense and time/distance of travel is deeply shocking.’
Meanwhile, Kirstie’s Location, Location, Location star Phil Spencer has returned to work three weeks after losing both his parents in a car accident.
The presenter, 53, announced last month that his parents David, 89, and Anne, 82, had died in a crash on their family farm in Littlebourne, near Canterbury, Kent, as they were making their way to the pub for some lunch.
Phil was seen for the first time since their passing in a video shared by co-host Kirstie on Tuesday, as she revealed the pair were back on set of their much-loved property show.
Kirstie began the video by explaining: ‘So we’re back at work filming on Location, Location, Location and I didn’t quite know what my next post on Instagram should be.
‘My last post was about Phil’s mum and dad and you all sent such lovely lovely messages and Phil was so grateful…’ prompting Phil to interrupt and confirm: ‘Very grateful, and I haven’t put anything on Instagram either, but I do appreciate peoples’ lovely comments.’
Kirstie added: ‘You see, he’s English and he’s a man, he’s just done really really well so round of applause to Phil for doing that and thank you, you’ve all been so kind.’
She captioned the clip: ‘He’s back at work, and was very, very touched by all your messages, I even managed to get him to say it on insta. Bless him.’
Last week, Kirstie revealed that despite the recent heartbreak that took place at Garrington Farm, Phil’s family are still going about their lives as best they could.
She told BBC‘s Newscast podcast: ‘[Phil’s] got a lovely, lovely family and they’re very, very close and they’re all together.
‘In fact, his sister was married yesterday, which they went ahead with and today they’re all going to the pub for lunch. The same pub that his parents were on the way to when they died.
‘He’s very stoical and pragmatic, and he feels very strongly that it was the right thing that his parents went together.’
Flowers have been left at the remote spot Phil’s parents who both died after their car careened over a bridge and landed upside down in a river. Despite the best efforts of paramedics and Phil’s brother Robert, who fought to save his parents’ lives by cutting their seatbelts using a penknife and pulling them from the river, the elderly couple were unable to be revived.