Parking stress on the rise

Almost a third (29%) of residents now have trouble finding a parking space outside their home.

Commissioned by GoCompare Car Insurance, the study reveals that nearly half (49%) of those who have problems parking, think the situation on their road has got a lot worse in the last 10 years with 19% saying that most days they have difficulty finding a parking space near their home. Some (15%) admit to falling out with their neighbours over parking arrangements.

The study suggests that increasing car ownership is exacerbating residential parking problems. Over the last 20 years the number of licensed vehicles in Great Britain has increased by 42%. Ironically, over a quarter (26%) of residents who experience issues parking outside their home themselves live in households with more than one car.

The research also found that residents’ parking permits were not always the solution to parking woes. Of those living in streets where parking is regulated by permits, only 36% think the system helps to reduce parking problems while 12% say parking permits have made the situation worse. 18% didn’t feel enough is done to enforce parking restrictions in their street.

Over half (54%) of the people surveyed said that in looking for a new home, a driveway or dedicated parking space would be a ‘must-have’ feature.

Matt Oliver, spokesman for GoCompare Car Insurance, said, ‘Many residential areas, particularly old terraced streets, predate the existence of cars so were not designed to accommodate parking. Especially when you consider that car ownership has increased considerably over the past 20 years.

‘Some of the residents taking part in our study clearly feel plagued by parking problems at home. But, unless you have a driveway or designated parking space, you have no legal right to park outside your home. So long as they are complying with any restrictions, such as parking permits, yellow lines or zigzags, and are not causing an obstruction, anyone is entitled to park in a residential area.’

According to The Highway Code, areas where drivers must not park include: on a pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zig-zag lines; opposite a traffic island or (if this would cause an obstruction) another parked vehicle; in marked taxi bays or at or near a bus/tram stop; on red lines; in spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders, residents or motorbikes, unless you are entitled to do so; near a school entrance; anywhere that would prevent access for emergency services; pposite or within 10 metres of a junction; over a dropped kerb; in front of the entrance to a property; or in a cycle lane.