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#916356 - 17th Dec 2014 7:57pm confusion over perpendicular parking
Mark Offline


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21086
Loc: Wirral


A Smart car owner has won a year-long battle over a 50 parking ticket given because she parked at a right angle to the kerb. But what is the law, asks Chris Stokel-Walker.

Vanessa Price has managed to get a 50 parking fine levied against her by Gloucestershire County Council overturned by an adjudicator, who said she did not break any road regulations by parking her Smart car at 90 degrees to the kerb.

Price was given the ticket because the front of her car peeked out from the parking bay lines in Stroud, Gloucestershire. It was overturned because the rule that drivers must park within markings does not apply in limited waiting spaces on highways.

Smart cars have been on Sale in the UK since 2000, and are immediately recognisable for their small size. Though Smart's current marketing material suggests drivers parallel park into tight spots, some owners take advantage of the size of the Smart car, which at 2.69m is only slightly longer than the average car is wide, to park perpendicular to the kerb.

Price even suggested in her defence against the parking fine that the Smart website illustrates how to park perpendicularly to the kerb. The company's Facebook group has occasionally highlighted such practices. But is this parking legal?

No one is sure.

Two solicitors specialising in parking law could not say whether perpendicular, rather than parallel, parking in a Smart car could fall foul of the law.

The Local Government Association directed inquiries to the British Parking Association (BPA), a trade body that is, according to its website, a "recognised authority on parking".

"As far as we are aware, we have not come across this particular issue before," a spokesperson said. But vehicles have to follow general parking laws, regardless of the type of vehicle, and the size of the space they're pulling in to.

"There is no law that specifies the size of a parking bay, but there are guidelines. Roads can be different widths so parking needs to be managed appropriately. The BPA works with government to ensure parking and traffic signs are reviewed as necessary and reflect the changing needs of society."

The BPA's guide for drivers, Know Your Parking Rights, covers many thorny issues but does not cover parking perpendicularly in a Smart car. And until Smart car-specific legislation is drawn up, it seems drivers are safer erring on the side of caution, and parallel, rather than perpendicularly, parking their cars.

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#916460 - 18th Dec 2014 12:05pm Re: confusion over perpendicular parking [Re: Mark]
Gibbo Online   content
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Registered: 27th Dec 2010
Posts: 1835
Loc: Oxton
When the Smart came out I clearly remember in adverts or some TV review that you'd be allowed to park like this.

So long as she gave the two cars either side room to get out of their spaces.

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#916498 - 18th Dec 2014 3:13pm Re: confusion over perpendicular parking [Re: Gibbo]
Moonstar Offline

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Registered: 2nd Jul 2011
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wirral
Not mushroom in the first pic (as far as you can see) to get out of the space blocked by the 'Smart' (bah!) car.

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#916512 - 18th Dec 2014 5:37pm Re: confusion over perpendicular parking [Re: Mark]
KevinFinity Offline

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Registered: 30th Apr 2009
Posts: 2324
Loc: Wirral
The rule is there for a reason. The car in the photo is clearly sticking out of the bay and into the road. Just because she got away with it through some loophole, does not make it a good idea.


Edited by KevinFinity (18th Dec 2014 5:38pm)

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#916635 - 19th Dec 2014 9:44am Re: confusion over perpendicular parking [Re: Mark]
daveybm Offline
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Registered: 2nd Mar 2009
Posts: 160
Loc: wallasey
The Smart car parked in the OP is actually in Italy, click on the first link Mark supplied and the photo is captioned "A Smart car parked in Italy" there appears to be no photos of the case in question in Gloucestershire.

Dave

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#916641 - 19th Dec 2014 9:52am Re: confusion over perpendicular parking [Re: Mark]
Mark Offline


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21086
Loc: Wirral


There are two links in the first post.

this is the second one, as the storey appeared in a few papers.

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#916649 - 19th Dec 2014 10:32am Re: confusion over perpendicular parking [Re: KevinFinity]
Gibbo Online   content
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Registered: 27th Dec 2010
Posts: 1835
Loc: Oxton
Originally Posted By: KevinFinity
The rule is there for a reason. The car in the photo is clearly sticking out of the bay and into the road. Just because she got away with it through some loophole, does not make it a good idea.


What loophole? It was decided she had not breached any traffic regulation order.

It as just an over zealous traffic warden who didn't know the rules, just like the police and PCSOs that claim we photographers need licences or are breaking the law when taking photos in public places.

Here's the pic:



I notice that the car to the right of hers is over the parking bay lines too.

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#916662 - 19th Dec 2014 12:51pm Re: confusion over perpendicular parking [Re: Mark]
KevinFinity Offline

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Registered: 30th Apr 2009
Posts: 2324
Loc: Wirral
It still clearly doesn't fit and I would not like to try and get either of the cars out either side with it sticking out that far.

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#916665 - 19th Dec 2014 1:24pm Re: confusion over perpendicular parking [Re: Mark]
Gibbo Online   content
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Registered: 27th Dec 2010
Posts: 1835
Loc: Oxton
But you can't see the gap in front of the blue car, nor the gap behind the silver one.

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#916690 - 19th Dec 2014 4:21pm Re: confusion over perpendicular parking [Re: Gibbo]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
I'd like to see an aerial view of that: it looks as if the Smart has its rear wheels on the pavement, also, assuming the Nissan Micra is parked reasonably close to the kerb, it still has a wheel on the line. How wide is that parking bay?
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