Half of new cars are too big for European cities, says think tank

LONDON: Around half of all new cars are too wide for a typical parking space in European cities, according to a new study, as calls are made to reverse the trend of SUVs and larger vehicles.

According to the campaign group Transport & Environment, the average new car gets 1 cm wider every two years, with the typical width of a car now 180.3 cm according to its research, which is up from 177.8 cm in 2018.

The group says that among the 100 most popular cars in Europe, 52 are too wide for a typical on-street parking space of 180 cm in major cities such as London, Paris and Rome.

It also says that the growing number of large SUVs "leave too little space for car occupants to get in and out of vehicles" in off-street parking spaces.

narrow 2

"Cars have been getting wider for decades and that trend will continue until we set a stricter limit. Currently, the law allows new cars to be as wide as trucks," James Nix, vehicles policy manager at Transport & Environment, said.

"The result has been big SUVs and American-style pick-up trucks parking on our footpaths and endangering pedestrians, cyclists and everyone else on the road."

The research is announced as Paris gets set to vote on increasing parking charges for larger and heavier cars – primarily SUVs. The referendum is taking place on February 4 to triple the price of parking for these larger vehicles, though would not apply to Parisian residents, rather to those visiting the area.

While SUVs continue to grow in popularity, vehicles of this type have also been targeted by climate activists around Europe. Known as the Tyre Extinguishers, the group has deflated thousands of SUV tyres in Western European cities.

It also targeted a Land Rover dealership in the English city of Exeter last August following the death of two children in Wimbledon last year after a Land Rover crashed through a fence and into school grounds. — PA Media
Autos News