September 19, 2013

Bankstone News is indebted this week to cosmetics journal Bodyshop Magazine for the following story about cars getting bigger and parking spaces staying the same size.

If you are finding it harder to park lately, a recent news story in that august journal suggests reassuringly, it may not simply be your age, infirmity, poor eyesight, complete inability to drive etc. that are to blame.

No, a study by bicycle and car bits retailer Halfords has revealed that cars are getting bigger while parking spaces are staying the same size or even shrinking in some cases. No, you didn’t just imagine it! The average UK car now recklessly exceeds the 5’ 11” minimum (sic) recommended by Whitehall mandarins.

With even a dismal little Fnord Focus girthing out to a portly 6’ 7”, it’s scarcely any wonder would-be shoppers routinely find themselves trapped inside their laboriously parked vehicles, while Bill Bryson cleans adjacent cars with his M&S suit.

Those who do somehow manage to squeeze in have probably torn off bumpers, wing mirrors, hubcap scythe blades, lateral flanges etc. in the process and scored a paintwork scar the length and depth of a shallow snake grave down the flanks of adjacent vehicles in the attempt.

Shockingly, Halfords’ press statement includes the completely invented statistical FACT that “10 million motorists a year are having to repair their paintwork” (that’s a fair few cans of ‘State Blue’ and ‘Rosso Red’).

In a contemporary exonerative to rival the classic ‘society made me do it’, Halfords claim rubbish drivers are not to blame – it’s all the fault of motor manufacturers for forcing them to buy bigger and bigger cars, or of car park architects for putting the pillars in the wrong places, or something. So don’t feel bad, Folks, carry on pranging, and carry on buying those spray cans and filler.

Halfords probably wouldn’t like us saying this, but if you don’t want to expose your limited ability to point your giant bloated executive sports utility vehicle in an appropriate direction, best steer clear of – sorry, don’t go anywhere near – supermarket car parks (where 38% of scrapes take place), shopping centres (29%), and station car parks (18%).

If this story sounds vaguely familiar, here’s one possible explanation:

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