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BPA Press Releases

21 November 2016

Have Cars Got Wider or Parking Spaces Got Narrower?

It depends. Many people have chosen to upgrade to bigger vehicles and more of these are now sold.

Typically parking bays are 4.8m x 2.4m (or 16ft x 8ft). This has been the case for decades and has stood the test of time. Often in the designs for parking places there is a balance between capacity and efficiency and the best designs provide the right balance; sufficiently wide spaces to allow easy and effective use and yet maximising the number of spaces available. Simply cramming in additional spaces is counter-productive because the parking operates inefficiently.

Conversely, our expectations have changed. Today’s small family car is probably the same size as yesterday’s large family car. Super-minis are larger than their predecessors; however almost all manufacturers have introduced a new ‘smaller’ range as people have upsized as normal and yesterdays ‘off-roaders’ have become common-place with some motorists.

Kelvin Reynolds, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the BPA, says that “It is ironic that just as parking operators are beginning to think that maybe the so-called ‘average car’ is now bigger that it’s time to consider wider parking bays, yet there are potentially driverless self-parking vehicles in the future which might be less concerned about bay width!"

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