A report said that residential streets are becoming jammed with parked vehicles because larger modern vehicles no longer fit in garages.
The top five selling cars in the United Kingdom in the 1960s, including models such as the slimline Ford Anglia, were 4 foot 11 inches wide and 12 foot 9 inches long on average, it found, but last year the five most popular cars were 5 foot 11 inches wide and 14 foot 1 inch long on average.
Meanwhile, private garages have largely remained the same width, 6 foot 11 inches on average, this gives only 6 inches of leeway on each side when modern cars are driven in.
According to the RAC Foundation study, as a result, countless more drivers are instead parking on the street, and around two-thirds of homeowners with a garage don’t use it for the purpose it was designed.
The report found that it meant the amount of space utilised by modern cars on residential roads was now a third more than in the 1960s.
This is leading to increasingly obstructed roads as motorists have more limited space to pass each other alongside parked vehicles, while foot-travellers such as mothers with pushchairs frequently find footpaths are blocked.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said the problem was worsened by the fact that there are now about 31.7 million vehicles on Britain’s streets, compared with 7.7 million in 1965.
The foundation wants the planning system to catch up with the growth in vehicle size by allowing larger garages to be built, which would help cut on-street parking.
Steve Gooding said that not only are vehicles getting bigger, there are more of them and that this is putting pressure on roadside space, and crucially, residential garages are also often inadequate for their intended purpose.
The five best selling vehicles in 1965 were the Austin Morris 1100/1300, Ford Cortina, Mini, Ford Anglia and Vauxhall Victor. Last year they were the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Mercedes A-Class.
Even houses built in 2000 are not being built large enough to fit an Astra in it, and it appears that all garages are being built too small, and even some double garages on new houses are being built with a column in the centre, which still doesn’t allow vehicles to use them, although most garages are full of junk, and you’d need a second garage for the vehicle.
But then it appears that all building regulations aren’t fit for purpose and they all need updating to take account of modern requirements, from vehicle size to insulation, triple glazing and ventilation.
And soon we will be finding that vehicles are too large for parking bays and then we’ll be getting parking tickets, or our parking permits will be declined, so a lot of people have paved over their front gardens so they can get them off the road, and you can walk down some roads and there’s not a flower or lawn in sight because now it’s a paved paradise parking lot.