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Standard Parking Bay Size Awaits Revision as Average Car Gets Bigger

Author Name – Jack Underwood

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The Government is considering giving local councils the power to modify the standard size of car parking spaces across UK. The need has risen due to the growing average size of standard modern-day automobiles.

 Parking Bay Dimensions Outsized

A study has revealed that the size of areas reserved for parking have remained unaltered since the year 1994. However, car dimensions have continually grown, thanks to automotive companies fitting a gamut of extra safety equipment and features.

Moreover, SUVs and 4x4s, admittedly ‘larger’ vehicles have increased in popularity in the last few years. The current parking area dimensions are just not big enough any longer.

The car drivers are being increasingly levied with unjust fines for parking beyond lines, and they often have to suffer with unwarranted car damages.

Government Considers Revision

 Government has realised that current minimum car parking space area is way too small for average modern cars. It has hence decided to endow regional councils with the authority to amend the existing size.

At present, parking bays are permitted to be constructed with the following dimensions. These can have a minimum length and width of 4.5m and 1.8m, and a maximum of 6.6m and 2.7m respectively.

It is expected that the UK Government will soon consult with local authorities and discuss plans to scrap the current minimum bay size. It will permit local bodies to decide upon the new appropriate size for parking areas later in 2014. This move will be a part of broad-reaching changes on the cars for road regulations as well as traffic signs.

Unfair Use of Power?

 However, a few days ago, MPs warned that allowing local authorities to completely scrap the size could lead to unfair exercise of power. They may take advantage of the situation and make parking spaces even smaller than right now, forcing motorists to opt for smaller eco vehicles.

Conservative MP and chairman, all-party historic vehicles association, Sir Greg Knight, raised the aforementioned issue in the Parliament. He expressed that it would be a wiser decision to expand the minimum parking bay size rather than completely abolish it. He stated that the Government must ensure that anti-car regional authorities don’t use the revised legislation to try replacing 20 parking bays with 25 in a bid to mint more money.

Also, AA supported these concerns adding that local councils could very well exploit the relaxed rules to charge even more money from motorists. The roads policy chief at AA, Paul Watters, said that money-grabbing councils may try to capitalise on the opportunity and boost their revenues by incorporating more in number, smaller parking bays. This could not only mean a higher number of cars in parking bays, but also more penalties for ‘overhanging’ automobiles.

A spokesperson from DoT said that the Government will meet to discuss about revisions in traffic signs and also in the existing stringent requirements for parking spaces. While no decisions have been made yet, DoT believes that local traffic authorities can best decide on these concerns, and not the central government.

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