Battle For Parking Spots 'Driving Staff Crazy'

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Battle For Parking Spots 'Driving Staff Crazy'

The competition for parking spaces is so fierce that one in seven commuters are arriving at work an hour before they start work to grab a spot, according to new research.

The AA, which commissioned the research, found that 15% aim to turn up more than 60 minutes before their contracted start time and do not get time in lieu if they begin work straight away.

More than 10,000 motorists who drive to work responded to the survey, which also found that 36% worry about parking.

The worst areas for parking paranoia in the UK are London, the West Midlands and the North East.

Almost a quarter (24%) of London car commuters who park at work turn up an hour or more early, compared to just 17% in the West Midlands.

The most relaxed areas for workplace parking are East Anglia and Yorkshire and Humberside with just 31% and 34% respectively feeling anxious.

Pressure to turn up an hour or more early is felt least by car commuters in East Anglia (10%) and Scotland (12%).

AA president Edmund King said: "Parking paranoia means that many car commuters are losing five hours a week in order to ensure they get a parking space.

"There is probably little difference between workers whose public transport timetables deliver them to work 20 or 30 minutes early and their colleagues who drive in at the same time.

"However, having to turn up and hour or more early to get a parking space, rather than just beating the rush-hour traffic, must add to the mental burden on commuters and impact on their work."

Almost two-thirds (65%) of commuting in England is done by car, according to the National Travel Survey.

Mr King said that good employers are aware of parking availability and take action when a lack of spaces "starts to make life hell for their employees".

He added: "Encouraging car-sharing schemes or pushing for better public transport provision shows an acceptance of responsibility, rather than leaving their workers to drive round the car park in growing frustration while the bosses have their own reserved spaces."