‘Too narrow’ bays are causing car park misery for commuters in Huntingdon

Huntingdon Railway Station car park spaces, Hunts Post Reporter Abi Weaving measures up,

Huntingdon Railway Station car park spaces, Hunts Post Reporter Abi Weaving measures up, - Credit: Archant

Commuters say car parking spaces at Huntingdon railway station are too narrow, with one driver even having to climb through the boot of his car to get out of a space.

The complaints started after the entire east side and part of the west side of the car park site was re-surfaced in July 2014 – a space covering 977 bays.

Paul Sadlier, 55, occasionally commutes to London from the station and told The Hunts Post: “These bays are ridiculously small.

“I can get in and out of the bays; that is fine. When I get into the station in the morning I always make headway to the bays that haven’t got cars either side so I know I can get out, but in the evening I get back around four or half three and cannot get back in my car.

“People started off being dismissive saying if you drive a smaller car it would help, but I drive a 4x4, an estate, and a smaller one, but it doesn’t matter which one I use; they all struggle.”

In September last year, Mr Sadlier, who was then awaiting knee surgery, had no choice but to climb through the boot of his car after being blocked in either side.

“It was just coming up to my operation so I was in a lot of pain and finding it hard to walk. The last thing I needed was to struggle getting into my car. It’s not ideal and you could argue I was not in control of the vehicle.”

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Unable to slide into the front, Mr Sadlier had to manoeuvre his car by releasing the handbrake, all the while lying across the top of the seats, and ended up hitting another car’s wing mirror in the process.

Mr Sadlier is currently fighting a parking ticket from the car park though, after his vehicle was found encroaching on another bay – something he says is down to the problem of the bays being too small.

“I do not believe that is fair when the bays are not wide enough in the first place,” he said.

“I arrived early in the morning and the guy next to me was in my bay and so it went on; all three of us were given tickets.”

The bays, which have been measured by Mr Sadlier as 2.1m wide by 4.72m long, are smaller than the recommended government guidelines, which, according to the British Parking Association, should be 2.4 metres wide by 4.8 metres long.

These are only guidelines though, and cannot be enforced on privately-owned land.

Great Northern, which runs the site, says the spaces are in line with previous guidelines and that if they were to update the car park it would lose 120 bays.

A spokesman said: “As always, it is a difficult task to balance the high demand for parking with the size of spaces, but the car park at Huntingdon complies with standards laid down by the British Parking Association for the size of bays which are 2.15m wide and 4.4m long.”