Is it time for van parking bays?

Should there be more parking spaces specifically for vans?
Should there be more parking spaces specifically for vans?

Fed up van drivers are calling on supermarkets and local councils to introduce dedicated parking bays to make their lives easier.

The call comes from leasing specialists LeaseVan.co.uk who claim van drivers need larger parking spaces close to store entrances to help them when loading and unloading their vehicles.

They believe that the time is right for van drivers to now be given the same priority afforded to parents with children and other groups of motorists when parking up to do shopping and other activities.

Vans represent more than ten per cent of all vehicles on our roads, with almost four million currently registered in the UK.

Yet drivers say they struggle to find a space big enough to accommodate their vehicle when visiting a supermarket or attending a job in a town centre.

Drivers say they are forced to park in standard bays and leave their rear end hanging out, creating a potential hazard to other motorists.

So opportunities to park closer to store or facility entrances would significantly help out van owners, that are generally more likely to require convenient loading.

Currently long and wide vans are forced to squash into a standard parking space, potentially obstructing regular car owners who may not be able to fully open their doors or see beyond for potential dangers such as passing pedestrians.

Commercial vehicle owners often run or operate on behalf of local small and medium sized businesses too, which councils may wish to accommodate more comfortably in their town centre car parks and large stores could receive higher value purchases from.

Tim Alcock of LeaseVan.co.uk, said: “Van drivers are the backbone of the British economy and the heartbeat of communities across the country, so we should be doing everything we can to help them.

“Many of the millions of van owners – hardworking tradesmen, women or business owners – will experience difficulties when parking up at supermarkets, in town centres, multi-storeys and at other facilities.

“This is because vans are currently forced to squash into the same regular spaces as cars when out and about – which can cause obstructions to both them and other road users.

“Standard parking spaces aren’t long or wide enough – blocking lines of sight and vehicle doors on either side – and aren’t close enough to entrances for vans that will usually be loading lots of goods.

“Disabled drivers, some electric vehicles, motorcycles and parents popping into shops with their children are all routinely awarded priority parking spaces at present – and rightly so.

“We believe vans should be next in line to receive this simple, low cost but much appreciated benefit in parking facilities up and down the country.

“All it would take is a few licks of paint.”