Doncaster named as second best place for parking in Britain

The aptly named Park Road in Doncaster town centre where there's plenty of room to leave your vehicle. (Photo: Google).
The aptly named Park Road in Doncaster town centre where there's plenty of room to leave your vehicle. (Photo: Google).

Doncaster is one of the best places for parking in Britain, according to a new survey.

Research has revealed that our town is the second best in the UK for residential parking - despite the fact that overall, motorists are finding it difficult to find a space near their home.

The study found that on average, motorists in Doncaster have 11.4 metres of space to park their car - second only to Hartlepool which topped the list with 11.8m.

The worst place was Kensington and Chelsea in London where drivers only have a room of 5.91m to get their vehicle into.

The research, by esure car insurance, shows that since 2011, car ownership has grown at twice the rate of residential parking spaces with now more than two million extra cars on the road.

This means many drivers are having a daily battle to find a parking space anywhere near their homes.

More than one in 10 (13%) drivers now find parking on their street difficult – a figure that rises to one in five (19%) among drivers living in London and to one in six (18%) for those living in the South East.

This is because the average amount of space-per-car in residential areas has shrunk by 3.4% in just five years – and by 7% over the past decade, decreasing from 9.84m per car in 2006 to 9.16m in 2016. The study compared the number of cars on the road with the amount of available parking space in residential areas, both on-road and off-road. It found that while residential parking space has grown by 3.7% since 2011 the numbers of vehicles on the road increased by 7.4% over the same period.

One of the reasons for the trend toward declining parking space is that the proportion of households now living in flats has risen from 21% to 23% over the past five years - and with only a third of flats having off-street parking available, cars and vans have been forced into surrounding residential roads.

Local councils are profiting from this increased demand for parking space by raising the cost of parking for residents. More than a third (37%) of local authorities have raised their residential parking charges since 2011 by an average of 51% — plus during this time, over half (54%) of councils increased the number of parking zones in their area over the past two years, meaning the money they are making has rocketed.

The lack of parking spaces is forcing some motorists to park illegally. One in 10 (10%) drivers say they have been forced to park illegally near their home because there wasn’t space for them and around a third of these illegal parkers were fined as a result, paying an average of £106 each in fines.

Jon Wilshire, Chief Underwriting Officer at esure, said: “Drivers are not imagining it – it really is harder to find a parking spot for your car. In some areas the average space available is so tight that drivers can barely manoeuvre their cars into the spaces available. When space is so limited, drivers must take extra care when parking to avoid damaging their own vehicle or those around them.”