Tighter Parking Spaces + Larger Cars = Major Headaches


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Semperit Tyres recently carried out a nationwide survey of public car park parking spaces which has highlighted a significant number of spaces that are narrower than the recommended guidelines.

In its guidelines for car park layout, Dublin City Council states that a parking space should not be less than 2.4m wide.  However, when Semperit surveyed 20 of Ireland’s most popular car parks in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick, almost 1 in 5 (19 percent) of the spaces measured were narrower than the recommended width.

“These results confirm what most motorists would say about the everyday experience of parking the car – it’s often very difficult to find a space with enough room for you and your passengers to exit comfortably from the car,” said Paddy Murphy of Semperit Ireland.

‘Narrow’ car park spaces were found at each location surveyed, and some of the results show a significant discrepancy from Dublin City Council’s recommended width of 2.4m: 1.85m at Brown Thomas car park in Dublin; 1.89m at City Hall, Cork; 1.9m at Grand Parade in Cork, Arthur’s Quay in Limerick and Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin; 2.2m in Eyre Square in Galway and ILAC in Dublin; and 2.1m at Dublin Airport.

“This situation has come about through a combination of factors.  Clearly, there is the fact that our cars have generally increased in size since many of our car parks were first opened.  The average family car is 1.8m wide but many of the larger SUVs are actually wider than some of the spaces we found.  Poor car park design is another factor, in that pillars intrude into spaces, meaning motorists do not have the full width of the space to manouvre into,” added Paddy.

“We also have to face up to the fact that Irish motorists themselves are getting larger.  The Department of Health tells us that almost 40 percent of Irish people are considered to be overweight, so that makes exiting cars in tight spaces all the more difficult”, he quipped!

Following overnight torrential rain in parts of the country, which has caused severe flooding of roads especially in parts of Dublin, the Road Safety Authority has the following advice for road users.

In areas severely affected by the flooding, drivers are being advised to make only essential journeys. Drivers are reminded that it only takes six inches of water before a driver can lose control of a small vehicle.