New here but buying a van but what about parking?

Aug 3, 2014
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I want a Peugeot Symphony (not had a MH before) or the like and I note they are just about 5.1m long for the SWB and about 5.25m for the MWB.

1. Thing is when I visit a town or any other place I want to park for a short visit (not over) is this length of vehicle too long?

2. Is there a DB of parking options without trolling all the authority rules which often don't specify size restrictions?

I have also read that parking spaces are having to get bigger due to newer cars etc., getting more bloated!

Thanks, hope this is not too boring for an answer.
 
Nov 19, 2010
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Not at all - it's an important question! And one that causes a lot of headaches, as local authorities and other parking operators vary a lot.
Most people reckon that you're ok under 6m, although that is slightly longer than most car park spaces.
As for a database, Graham Hadfield (GJH on here) has done a lot of work gathering information from local authorities, and publishes the results of that on his website www.motorhomeparking.co.uk
Think I've got that right, no doubt he'll reply soon anyway)
 

gjh

Jul 28, 2011
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I've only just seen this as we've just returned from 3 weeks away. Thank you, Tony, for mentioning my web site.

I can't recall offhand the last time that standards or bay sizes were revised but what is certain is that car sizes tend to increase faster. Generally speaking most motorhomes can fit within a standard bay width but most need to take two in-line or overhang an unused area (i.e. not blocking a footpath) at the rear - but not all car park owners allow use of multiple bays. Also, it isn't just length and width that are important as weight restrictions often preclude parking of heavy vehicles. That is especially the case with car parks built several years ago though many newer ones are only built to a standard which supports regular use by vehicles of no more than 2 tonnes (which covers the vast majority of their "customers").

Because parking regulations can change a fair bit my web site now works by reference to LA web sites and sites of private car park owners. Over the years I have tried to encourage them to publish specific information but (although it is a lot better than 10 years ago when I started) response is somewhat patchy.

The closest to an actual database is the sat nav POI set downloadable from my web site (over 2260 entries in it). However, it is designed to be used in conjunction with advice on the web site as there may be restrictions which need narrative explanation.

Graham
 
Dec 1, 2011
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Have to agree with previous posters. ALSO height barriers need to be taken into account. We usually park in two bays due to length, at supermarkets when abroad. we don't use the van in UK. Lots of UK parking bays are small, even for a car! When we need to go somewhere that we now has limited space , we use our smaller car , as our main car is fairly long, (and NOT a truck, just a normal family car) Hopefully planners will make parking bays larger, but most will not want to encourage Motorhomes sadly.
 

gjh

Jul 28, 2011
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chirene said:
Hopefully planners will make parking bays larger, but most will not want to encourage Motorhomes sadly.
Bay sizes are a problem for both national and local government and for private owners, all of whom have no control over the sizes of vehicles produced by manufacturers. Whilst it is simple to design larger sizes into new developments (with the trade off of fewer spaces overall) it is not so simple to redesign existing car parks, especially where weight and manoeuvring constraints exist.
Allowing use of car parks by motorhomes also depends on several other factors and it always comes down to the fact that if we want it then it is up to us to justify it :)

Graham
 
Jul 31, 2012
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Our motorhome is just under 6 metres but we also have bikes on the back. Sometimes it's possible to reverse into a space and have the overhang and bikes in an out of the way place. Think about the length of the overhang on your chosen van, and also about how low the overhang is... we've seen some that are so close to the ground, even reversing over a kerb causes it to be dangerously close! On many occasions, we have used two bays, buying two tickets if necessary. Make sure to check out the notice board if there is one; as has been said before, you may not be able to park over two bays, or the vehicle may be too heavy. If there's a phone number there, give them a ring and ask, if in doubt. I'm under the impression that if the white lines are dotted, it's not a problem to overhang a little, as long as you are not causing an obstruction to other road users or to pedestrians. Height barriers are the bane of a motorhomers life!
 

gjh

Jul 28, 2011
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DonnaG said:
I'm under the impression that if the white lines are dotted, it's not a problem to overhang a little, as long as you are not causing an obstruction to other road users or to pedestrians.
I've never come across that one Donna :)
Bay markings come in all sorts of guises - for instance a car park we used this morning is block paved and uses (dotted) blocks of a different colour to mark the sides :)
Graham
 
Jun 27, 2016
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Hi, We recently visited Chester ( well worth a visit ) and we used the park and ride which had bays for longer vehicles, park and ride certainly eases things.
Dom.
 
Apr 30, 2015
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I was told by a freindly parking attendant that, if your wheels are within the white lines you are parked within the parking bay regardless of any overhang (but I would not want to cause an obstruction)
We drive a Elddis Autoquest 115 (sunseeker) and are just about 6meters as we had a bumper fitted to the rear.
Pete
Pete
 
Nov 19, 2010
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Park & ride can be a real boon for motorhomers visiting cities - as long as they let us use it! Our nearest city is Chelmsford, which has two popular P&R services, one at each side of town. But both of them are fitted with height barriers!
I queried this with the authority when it was first launched, years ago now, but only got the usual "travellers and trucks" excuse. Since the van is our sole vehicle, we just don't go to Chelmsford anymore - there's no shortage of other shopping venues in easy reach, which make us far more welcome. And of course, I have made sure the local authority knows they've lost our business.

On the other hand, another hour brings us to Bury St Edmunds, which offers five dedicated motorhome bays in a central car park - free overnight!
 

gjh

Jul 28, 2011
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breakaleg said:
I was told by a freindly parking attendant that, if your wheels are within the white lines you are parked within the parking bay regardless of any overhang (but I would not want to cause an obstruction)
We drive a Elddis Autoquest 115 (sunseeker) and are just about 6meters as we had a bumper fitted to the rear.
Pete
Pete
That will only apply in some places, Pete, not all.
For instance, Bournemouth council says Here "Make sure you have all of your vehicle's wheels positioned within the bay".
However, when I asked the same question of Gateshead council, they clarified that the whole of a vehicle (not just its wheels) must be within the bay markings.
It pays to make sure in each different place :)
Graham
 
May 22, 2016
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Our Swift Lifestyle is a bit over 7.0 m I think, and we need two bays lengthways to park which can be a bit of a challenge but hasn't really been a problem. On a recent tour of Cornwall we parked up in Bude C&CC site and hired a Peugeot 208 for just under £30 a day and used that to tour round during the day. Worked really well since most of the pretty little beaches and towns wouldn't have been reachable by an MH. Saw one VW Camper got stuck down a narrow lane and had to reverse best part of 1/4 mile.
 

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