The official minimum width of car parking spaces is to be scrapped under Government plans, because modern cars have outgrown them.
The regulations governing parking space dimensions were last updated in 1994. However, over the last 25 years the width of some car models has risen by up to a quarter.
Over the same period the popularity of larger vehicles, particularly 4x4s, has also risen dramatically.
The growth in vehicle size has been attributed to both consumer demand for more interior space, and the increasing numbers of safety features manufacturers need to fit to their models in order to remain competitive.
"We need to make sure money-grabbing, anti-car local authorities don't use this to try to replace 20 parking spaces with 25." – Sir Greg Knight
The result is an increasing number of drivers being hit with fines for not wholly fitting into a parking bay, or damaging other vehicles as they attempt to manouevre between them.
This has prompted the Government to abolish the official minimum parking space size and hand power to local authorities to set their own limits.
However, some MPs have warned that some “anti-car” councils could take advantage by making spaces even smaller.
Conservative MP Sir Greg Knight, speaking to The Telegraph, urged the Government to increase the minimum size of parking bays rather than abolishing it completely.
"I'd like to see parking bays reflect the fact that the average size of cars has grown. I'm not against flexibility, but I have no confidence that some local authorities will be responsible,” he said.
"We need to make sure money-grabbing, anti-car local authorities don't use this to try to replace 20 parking spaces with 25."
A recent study found that modern cars are on average 16 per cent (around two inches) wider than the 5ft 11in bays that are provided for them.
Do you incur problems with narrow bays when parking? Do you think the new rule change will ease the situation? Have your say below.
March 17, 2014