Parking. Anyone would think it was a great British hobby considering the amount of time we spend doing it. Around 25 minutes a day apparently. That might not sound like a lot, but it all adds up. And think of the petrol!
On average British drivers spend 152 hours a year searching for a cursed parking space and it can’t be doing our health any good. Or our wallets – parking burns away £120 of the average motorist’s hard-earned cash every year.
It’s not actually a problem for me personally, as I use public transport (I don’t have a driving licence anyway – don’t laugh) but it’s definitely a problem for my mum. Her plastic parking angel is meant to help, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this superstitious mumbo jumbo doesn’t do the trick.
And then there’s the stress of getting into that narrow space, which is worsened by the pressure of another impatient driver waiting behind. Two in five drivers polled said they’d avoid a space altogether if there was another car behind them – with women the most likely to feel intimidated.
And according to the AA, we’re just rubbish parkers in the UK, with its president Edmund King commenting:
‘As a nation in general, we are not very good parkers. You see some cars parked so far from the kerb that you almost need a canoe to paddle to the pavement. A few parking lessons wouldn’t go amiss.’
Parking takes the longest for Londoners (182 hours a year) with Birmingham, Glasgow and Newcastle close behind. So maybe there just aren’t enough parking spaces in our cities? And with traffic jams and school drop-offs dominating our time in these metal husks, do we really need other drivers pressuring us to park in tiny supermarket spaces?