Taking the stress out of residents’ parking wars

Posted 30 June 2015 by Tilly Rubens

Spats between neighbours over limited parking spaces at the front of houses are almost as common as disputes over how tall the leylandii grows at the back. In some cases, desperate residents have taken matters into their own hands by placing cones on the road outside their house to prevent others parking there.

Perhaps it is unsurprising that a new survey reveals over half of motorists believe residents should “own” the piece of road outside their home. A recent report by Wiser Insurance found 53% of respondents would like to be within their rights to prevent other motorists from parking directly outside their home.

“Sadly for those that do park on the road, parking outside your own house is a rare treat on many congested streets,” says Mark Bower-Dyke, chairman of Be Wiser Insurance who carried out the study.

For flats without designated spaces or car parks, there is often not enough room for every resident to park immediately outside their block. In congested areas, residents often have to park a short walk away or even on another street altogether.

However, although some residents would like to see changes in parking, there are doubts regarding the feasibility of such a scheme. Bower-Dyke adds: “While losing "your" space to an ugly van, again, is very frustrating, there are some tricky logistical issues that would need addressing before something like this could be implemented.”

For example, friends and families of residents could encounter difficulties when visiting their nearest and dearest. This is because they would be unable to park in front of someone else’s house if the person they were visiting had already parked outside their own home.

Just under a quarter of respondents (23%), who wanted to "own" their curb space, therefore suggested the idea would need to be dependent on where you live rather than imposing a blanket policy across the country. Most suggested that those living in suburbs, housing estates and larger villages would benefit most from the idea.

Some streets across the country have got around the problem by introducing resident only parking measures to limit congestion and parking stress. Restrictions may apply only during peak hours or at all times and residents can buy vouchers so their visitors can park locally.

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