RAC Cars News


Could Minimum Space Sizes Solve Parking Woes?

By raccars Published

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A website specializing in the booking of parking spaces across the UK has this week announced its intentions to promote the idea of standardising the size of spaces at car parks across the UK. It hopes that this proposal will reduce the problems facing modern drivers who use these facilities.

The biggest issue is width, because newer models can be up to a fifth wider than their precursors, which leaves drivers with much less room to manoeuvre, when slotting their car into a parking space that does not take this into account.

Although the cars of today are often wider, parking spaces have been kept at approximately the same width for the past six decades, according to the Press Association. And while bigger bays for disabled users and those with children onboard are available in some places, the majority of car parks stick with space dimensions that are seen as being anachronistic.

Campaign spokesperson, Harrison Woods, said that the bigger the parking space, the better the experience for the driver. He also pointed out that people are actively avoiding certain car parks as a result of the limited space, which might ultimately impact negatively on businesses and communities as a result.

Of course, for car parks which are run as a commercial venture, having smaller spaces means that more can be squeezed into a given area. But if the spaces are not fit for purpose in the modern age, the potential benefits of maximising the number of spaces on offer must surely be counterbalanced by the fact that some drivers simply will not be able to use the facility effectively.

The project, known as SizeMark, seeks to standardise larger spaces in the UK and is using a number of popular vehicles as the evidence that change is necessary. The biggest grower of recent years is the Mini Cooper, which is now 24 per cent wider than the model that was introduced back in the late 1950s. The Honda Civic, VW Golf and Ford Fiesta have also received a bit of a bump in size, which no doubt results in quite a few more physical bumps in car parks, when spaces are too narrow.

Whether or not SizeMark will be adopted by the industry remains to be seen. And if it is, implementing it will require a considerable investment on behalf of car park operators.

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