I wrote a column recently which stated that Lifetime Homes should have a parking space at least 3.3 metres wide to provide access to and from a vehicle for a wide range of people – for example parents with young children and buggies, people with shopping or luggage, and wheelchair users.
This design criterion was written in the 1990s when cars were much smaller than they are now but it still seems big enough.
It got me thinking about the car parking spaces around Wantage and Grove.
Take the Beacon car park for example, I park there frequently and I have a relatively small car but it can still be difficult getting into and out of the spaces.
So I started researching parking standards and found that the term ‘one space’ used in the government standards refers to standing area only and does not take account of access, manoeuvring space or space required for loading/unloading.
The recommended minimum dimensions for a car space are 4.8 metres by 2.4 metres.
Bear in mind that a new Fiesta (the most popular new car in the UK last year) is 1.94 metres wide (including mirrors) and just over 4 metres long and a Qashqai (most popular SUV) is nearly 2.1 metres wide and almost 4.4 metres long.
So in a British standard parking bay you have approximately 46 cm around your new Fiesta to open the doors and get in or out and just about 1 foot (30 cm) around your Qashqai.
The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) 2016 specifies a minimum width of 1.8 metres for on street parking bays. That’s actually narrower than either of the most popular new cars.
The District Council Planning Design Guide proposes that a single garage should be able to accommodate a car, storage and sufficient space for bicycles and have a minimum internal floor area of 3 metres x 6 metres.
It also states that a driveway used for parking should be a minimum of 2.5 metres wide x 5.5 metres long.
I just hope that there isn’t a wall on each side otherwise that nice new Fiesta or Qashqai is going to get scratched very soon.
So if you are thinking of buying a new house and want to put the car in the garage so that you can connect it to your charging point, I would line the garage with bubble wrap first.