We all know that claustrophobic feeling, pulling into your local supermarket or shopping centre car park and wondering ‘Is there enough room for me?’, then you assess there probably is, but all of a sudden you’re regretting that Sunday roast as you realise you have to squeeze between yourselves and the car next to you.
As the years have passed, cars have increased in size, whether that’s through necessity or through an influence from across the Atlantic is up for debate, but one things for sure, the demand for SUVs and larger cars are higher now than ever before. If we’re making cars bigger, surely it makes sense to make parking spaces bigger? Well, finally it sounds like this will happen.
The UK’s largest car park firm National Car Parks (NCP to you or I) have announced that they will accommodate these larger SUVs and 4x4s with bigger spaces in their car parks going forward.
The increased bays will be first introduced in London, Manchester and Bournemouth before they look to expand nationwide. The move comes off the back of a report undertaken by Accident Exchange where they recorded that car park related incidents have increased a staggering 35% since 2014.
The firm said the move was focussed on making things easier for those with bigger vehicles. As things stand the current standard parking space in the UK is a length of 4.8 metres and a width of 2.4 metres. There are several popular cars on the UK market such as the BMW X5 or the Audi Q7 which exceed this length, whilst the demand for bigger SUVs can be summarised in showing the Nissan Qashqai is one of the bestselling models in the UK. Clearly something needed to move.
NCP have however acknowledged that this move to bigger spaces will come at a cost to the quantity of the spaces. Finding the perfect integration between quality and quantity of space will be the firm’s biggest challenge.
It hasn’t been plain sailing for the car park giants though, as opposition including Greenpeace have been quick to criticise the company for penalising those looking to a more environmentally-friendly future through purchasing a smaller, city-car. They argue that creating additional space size enables people to accept larger, more fuel hungry cars and undoes all the hard work accomplished in recent years.
For many, the increase in space will be welcome news, we are intrigued to see how NCP come up with a strategy to ensure an optimal level of size and amount and hope to see it rolled out nationwide shortly.