I wasn’t at all surprised to read in a survey by car leasing firm OSV that parking causes 76% of rifts with neighbours in the UK.
Of a survey of 1005 people:
I’ve had a few rifts with neighbours who’ve regularly blocked my drive, or taken the big space rather than an available small one for their supermini when they knew I had a 1941 Chevrolet.
When I worked for a housing association, the neighbourhood officers reported that parking arguments were one of the main causes of anti-social behaviour. If someone drives home from work, steaming after a bad day, their stress level multiplies many times if they can’t park.
I’ve even known a few people move because this happened regularly, and off-street parking now makes a house more attractive to buyers.
Of course the situation is getting worse as every member of a family old enough to drive will want their own car. And what will happen when everyone needs not only a parking space, but access to their electric vehicle charging point?
OSV is suggesting that councils invest in neighbourhood parking schemes. Personally, I believe that lack of parking spaces will become a another good reason simply not to own or even lease a car. I can easily see a future where we just go online and order an autonomous car to pitch up when we need one. And, much as I love driving, there are days when I wish I could do that now.
For more about OSV click here
I can’t play the bassoon. If I said I wanted to, I’m sure there would be some surprise from those who know I don’t have a musical bone in my body, but I dare say people would nod and reckon with some lessons and a practice, it might be possible. What I wouldn’t expect them to say is “Oh my wife can’t play the bassoon, and my previous assistant couldn’t. It seems to be something women can’t do.” Yet, insert the word ‘park’ and that was exactly what my boss said to me when I’d first learned to drive and said I wasn’t good at parking.
Admittedly this was more years ago than I’d like to admit, but things haven’t changed. When I told a male friend I was starting a Woman Driver Blog, he said "Oh, are you going to write about how you kerb alloy wheels?" After eight years and 86 hours of great drama, The Sopranos ends with five minutes of the otherwise smart Meadow failing to park her Lexus. Tamara Ecclestone hasn’t helped the cause by installing a turntable in her driveway so she doesn’t have to turn her Ferrari around.
OK some women can’t park, it doesn’t mean they are not capable of it, just that they haven’t learned to do it. You can get a driving licence without ever parking between two cars; it’s not in the test, so it’s not usually in the lessons. It’s not hard-wired into anyone, but men learn; women are expected somehow not to. I’d approached my boss, hoping for help, but didn’t get it. Luckily my boyfriend at the time showed me and I was grateful.
My friend Diana could place her 1955 Oldsmobile in a space with two inches either end, and told me her secret: pull up beside the car in front of the space with the mid-point of your car level with its rear bumper. Turn the wheel hard to get your car moving into the space until your rear lamp is level with that of the car behind you. Straighten up. Once you’re in, turn the wheel in towards the pavement to get the nose in. Stop.
So if you’re fretting about your alloy wheels, show your partner how to park the car. If you can’t park. Try this and practice.
Never let people tell you women can’t do anything that doesn’t involve the use of a penis rather than simply ownership of one.
This blog is by a woman driver, for everyone to read