Britain’s biggest private car park operator has confirmed that it is widening car park bays to accommodate growing demand for 4x4s and SUVs in car parks throughout the UK.
NCP (National Car Parks) have amended bay size in pay and display car parks across London, Manchester and Bournemouth to fit wider vehicles, and say of their future plans: “Going forward, it is our intention to provide bigger parking bays wherever possible to do so”.
Automotive intelligence company Jato say that the demand is no surprise – their research shows nearly 1 in 3 new cars sold in the UK is an SUV; with demand increasing 40% in 2015.
However, the increase in sales of larger vehicles does seem to have an impact on minor collision stats – with courtesy car provider Accident Exchange saying almost 2,000 ‘prangs’ happened daily last year, as people struggled to park their cars. Scott Hamilton-Cooper from the company told the Times: “Some drivers feel certain car parks are no-go areas due the sheer length and width of their cars.”
Meanwhile, environmental campaigners have argued widening spaces penalises motorists of smaller cars and electric vehicles. Doug Parr, of Greenpeace, said: “Making more space for large gas guzzlers at the expense of other cars is the opposite of what we should be doing. We need to rethink our transport infrastructure so that those who make the right choice for our health and the environment are rewarded, not penalised.”
What do you drive – do you need a wider or smaller space, and do you agree spaces need to be changed? Let us know in the comments below.
Author Lex Barber