- Parking problems power unneighbourly feelings.
- Police regularly called in to resolve parking disputes between neighbours.
- Creative Brits turn to homemade measures to keep their parking spaces free.
More and more Brits are heading home from work, not only stressed by their job, their boss, their bills and the traffic but added into the mix is the stress of arriving home to nowhere to park anywhere near their house, sometimes even to find, a dedicated parking space taken or their drop down blocked.
According to a recent survey conducted by independent Sussex car leasing and supply professionals, OSV Ltd, 62% of Brits have fallen out with neighbours over parking, on at least one occasion.
Parking in the UK has always been a touchy subject, and with more and more cars on the road, and fewer spaces available, it seems that the general public have had enough. If we’re not arguing with our neighbours about infringing on what we consider our territory, we’re taking measures to keep them away – it’s reached such a level that 75 per cent of survey respondents cited parking as the main reason for rifts with their neighbours. Interestingly, men are almost three times more likely to begin a parking rift than women.
The survey, which took in the views of 1017 people from across the country, revealed that 69 per cent of drivers say that they have devoted hours into taking preventative measures to keep other vehicles from parking in their spots. The most popular means was the deployment of the good old fashioned traffic cone (23% of people had invested in their own), but other DIY options had also been utilised:
- 17% put up their own private parking sign
- 7% painted their house number in the space
- 5% admitted that they had blocked the space with a bike or similar so that the space was theirs when they got home.
- 5% installed CCTV so they could monitor neighbours movements, as well as a preventative measure against their car being damaged.
- 2% used an extra car to block the space (although one can’t help but wonder what they did with the other car when they brought the first one home!)
- 1% had gone so far as to install a lockable fold down post, preventing anyone else from benefitting from the space when they were not using it.
On the surface, such measures might seem slightly humorous, but for a lot of people parking is becoming a very serious affair. 54 per cent of interviewees said that they had actually called in community police to help resolve a parking issue, including such matters as blocked driveways (54%), parking in front of drop downs (33%) and public road parking (81%).
OSV Co-Director, Debbie Kirkley, says: ‘The results of this survey are really rather worrying. Brits have a reputation for keeping cool and not complaining, so it’s quite revealing that such a huge number of us have got into disputes with our neighbours over parking. 24 per cent of those surveyed even said that the stress of parking wars had affected their health!
‘It’s difficult to see what the solution could be. While it would be helpful if councils were to provide more parking, perhaps in the first instance we could all try for a bit more community spirit. Rather than waging parking wars, we could try talking before our problems escalate, because in the end we have to be happy where we live, and there’s more to life than a designated parking space!’
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