Getting Heavy

Getting Heavy

I was walking past a car park in Sheffield recently and noticed that one of the restrictions on parking was that vehicles in excess of 30cwt were not allowed to park there. That is just over 1500kg. It was half-empty but that part of Sheffield is more or less one huge car park anyway and there were lots of available spaces elsewhere. Way back when the bye-laws were being written, the intention was probably to exclude commercial vehicles. Most passenger cars would have weighed considerably less than a ton. Things have changed quite a lot.

There was a Range RoverĀ  (2.6 tonnes minimum), a Land Rover Discovery (2.7-ish tonnes), a Volvo V70 (1.7 tonnes), an E-class Mercedes estate (about 1.9 tonnes) and a Jag XF (probably round the 1.8 tonne mark). I didn’t see tickets on any of them in spite of them being clearly in breach of the regulations posted by the ticket machine. There were lots of smaller hatches and superminis of course and even the porkiest of them would probably only just reach the 1.4 tonnes. Drive a larger car and you’d be in trouble if the parking wardens were in an iffy mood. A Mondeo diesel has a kerbweight just over 1.5 tonnes. An Insignia is probably about the same weight. Vauxhall doesn’t quote kerbweights on their website for individual models preferring to give a range of gross weights of 2040kg to 2355kg.

We all know why weights have risen over the years; safety and lots of toys areĀ  the most frequently reasons. Legislation might have demanded the likes of airbags, anti-lock brakes and catalytic converters but other legislation hasn’t kept up, at least in Sheffield. Okay, so it would be a particularly bloody-minded parking attendant who would give a ticket to a Range Rover displaying a proper ticket in its window, but he would be following the rules should he do it. Pause for thought, that.

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