Friday, February 20, 2009

British Parking Spaces for British Car Parks!

Whenever I go down to the BBC studios in Tunbridge Wells I always park in their staff spaces in the car park behind Hoopers. Until today. The car park is owned by Tunbridge Wells Council. Apparently they have just repainted all the lines in the car park to make the spaces bigger. As a result, there are fewer of them. This means there aren't now enough for BBC staff members, let alone visitors.

And what do you think was the reason the council gave for the repainting of the spaces? Because they had to comply with an EU Directive which lays out how big the spaces must be. I ask you.

What on earth has the size of car parking spaces in Tunbridge Wells got to do with the EU?

Yet another example of a) legislation passed for legislation's sake, but it keeps EU bureaucrats in a job and b) gold plating by British authorities who no doubt interpret the Directive to the letter.

Can you really imagine an Italian local authority obeying it? No, me neither.

32 comments:

John Carroll said...

What EU Directive is this?

Surprised you didn't provide a link to it in your piece.

trevorsden said...

You are quite right we should be able to decide our own parking bay sizes.

It may be that they are going from imperial to metric. My understanding was that planning requirements or for parking bays were 4.8m x 2.4m minimum. This may come from the EU but I am not sure anything is being enforced on existing places

I have to say that I find many places just too small even for ordinary cars. Supermarkets especially (unless you can kidnap someone's children for the afternoon).

Blue Eyes said...

This is all part of the obesity epidemic. Cars seem to get bigger every year. The Fiesta is now the size of the Escort, the Polo is the size of the original Golf and most expensive "family" cars are the size of Land Rovers!

Bring back the Maestro.

Iain Dale said...

John Carroll, I have absolutely no idea. I was just reporting the justification the council gave for widening the bays.

Ethelred the Unhinged said...

An engineering director once told me that when he issued an instruction, the Germans would do it, the French would pretend to do it and the Italians would not even bother with the pretence.

Old Holborn said...

Get the bus then

As a licence payer, blah blah blah

Twig said...

UKIP would sort it, under Dave's Tories it'll just continue apace.

Zeddy said...

***No, me neither.***

Can you really imagine a prominent figure in the blogging world having a shaky grasp of elegant English?

No, nor can I.

John said...

Pity no-one knows what EU Directive this was. Amazing how often stuff is blamed on unknown EU Directives.

BJ said...

Perhaps if Britain actually made cars any more, then it might have some influence in the field of trans-national parking-space sizes.

Plato said...

BJ Eh?

We may not own the companies we certainly make the cars...Nissan, Ford, Peugeot. Mini blah blah blah...

albertmbankment said...

Well, the BBC will just have to get rid of some of its staff or persuade some of them to use push- or motorbikes - or even (gasp!) walk or take public transport with 'ordinary' people. As could you.

Still, the BBC being the BBC, it will doubtless spend money on block-booking taxis for its staff and puffed-up 'visitors'.

Iain Dale said...

Albert Embankment, yes, if I wanted to waste three hours out of my day I could have got public transport. But I didn't.

Oldrightie said...

Look into the future!

http://oldrightie.blogspot.com/2009/02/where-next-when-your-broke-and.html

Demetrius said...

You should chuckle. Our street is narrow with parking spaces on either side recently marked with new paint and made wider to conform to the EU regulations. So now the single lane space left for traffic is not wide enough for buses, Refuse Lorries, delivery vehicles etc., and critically for ambulances. There is a childrens nursery at the end, and a retired peoples complex in the middle where the ambulances come and go, but only when they can. Watching an emergency stroke case being manhandled down the street to the ambulance is not a pretty sight.

jdc said...

There's a lovely irony on this topic, which is that one of the Metric Martyrs used legislation on the size of parking spaces to get people off parking fines.

http://www.thisisdorset.net/news/1810270.loading_bays_just_dont_measure_up/

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I refer the honourable gentleman to the reply I gave in the previous post.

Wallenstein said...

Wonder which party controls the council... ah yes, 90% Tory.

That would explain it.

Mirtha Tidville said...

just another reason for us to get the hell out of this corrupt, useless and increasingly expensive EU.Especially after Ted Heath lied to get us in......

John Moss said...

There are no regulations on the size of parking spaces other than disabled spaces. I know having built a number of developments where "short" spaces had to be included. We were able to agree this with the Council who took a pragmatic view of what could be achieved given the constraints of the site.

However, Councils often set a minimum standard for new developments and apply these to their own public spaces. These would usually be 2.4m x 4.8m.

Car park operators also have a trade association which has "minimum standards", which, should you fail to comply, will count against you should you enter the prestigeous "Car Park of the Year" award organised by PArking Review magazine.

(I kid you not)

Harry said...

Only Mr Moss has got this right. Martha, like Iain and many others, has leaped at the sound of the dread initials and assumed the worst to be true.

Every time you hear a silly comment about the Tories, or the British, due you assume it is true?!

There is simply no such Directive. Never was, never will be. I work for the EU. Just ask.

Using "EU directive" is like saying "Health and Safety mate" these days - sounds great, but usually misses the mark (which is usually closer to home).

ukipwebmaster said...

Do wake up at the back!

Gallimaufry said...

John Moss is correct. While therer is no statutory basis for the 4.8m x 2.4m standard space (set in the eighties as a standard because it was big enough for a Ford Granada - check the size of the cars of the people on the standards committee), there are regs for disabled spaces (3.6m wide). DfT has an interesting page on this:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/transportforyou/access/peti/inclusivemobility?page=5
PPG13 and local Supplementary Planning Documents etc (Royal Tunbridge Wells Council) set out the maximum number of spaces and the proportion of disabled and mother-and-child spaces for new developments.
I agree that blaming the EU for not being able to park is daft as there are so many other real reasons why we should leave the corrupt, undemocratic waste-of-money immediately.

vervet said...

Everybody missing the obvious here - more to do with local authority income than the EU.

Bigger spaces = less spaces = more illegal parking = more parking fine income.

Obvious really !

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

I was expecting the story to go along the lines of, 'local authority re-paints car park spaces to say 'council employees only'. Seems they love to do this on 'public' car parks. Must be good working for the council. The jumped up tossers.

Ifor said...

A few years ago, a friend went to run a company in the Republic of Ireland. The government there employed people whose principal responsibility seemed to be maximising the grants available from the EU.
A new office was being constructed with employee parking. The government rep told him that he could receive X punts for each parking space he provided. The gvt advice was to make the parking spaces only a few feet wide to get the largest number of spaces in the area available and hence the larger grant. The fact that the spaces were not wide enough to accommodate a vehicle seemed neither here nor there.
Perhaps the EU have woken up to this scam and now insist on an adequate width?

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

And this is a TORY council!

Most of these EU Regulations are not meant to be taken seriously; they just give legislators something to occupy their time in between four-course lunches. Unfortunately, our people don't understand this.

Martin said...

Why does the BBC need a car park? These idiots are continually telling us that cars are killing the planet. Shouldn't they all walk or use public transport?

Oh hang on, of course, the BBC is full of wet liberals who think THEY are too important to give up their large cars, so it's the prolls that have to do it.

Will the BBC ever stop flying thousands of staff around the world?

Of course not.

The Grim Reaper said...

For some reason, this all reminds me of The Simpsons. At the start of one episode, Bart Simpson painted a bunch of extra lines in the school car park. Suddenly, everyone arrives for work at the same time - only to find they're all parked so closely together that none of them can open their car doors.

Classic moment.

Little Black Sambo said...

Zeddy, boil your head, there's a good fellow.

ubrayj02 said...

Oh goodness gracious, no parking! Why you might be reduced to -gasp!- walking, bicycling, taking the bus, or heavens maybe a taxi.

Roger Thornhill said...

Iain, it has EVERYTHING to do with the EU because the EU wants to control everything to do with YOU.

I do think that many parking spaces are too narrow for todays wider cars.

That said, it is no business of some supranational entity to force us to change unless that supranational entity has designs and believes it is in fact the Federal authority with sovereignty.

Ask Dave if we can refuse the ruling under a Tory administration. When he says no, then ask if he thinks Britain still retains sovereignty. Dissonance.

Can you not see that trying to fix the EU is like trying to fix cockroaches? You have to get rid. Period.