The saying goes that ‘women can’t park’. While I’ll remain unbiased, it seems that a German mayor has had another idea.
Parking bays designated for 'male drivers only' have been introduced in a German parking complex by Mayor Gallus Strobel, of the sleepy town Triberg in the Schwarzwald.
Two bays “that could be dangerous for your car” should be attempted by men only because drivers need to back in diagonally, while avoiding a pillar. Ten, spacious and well-lit spots have also been assigned to the fairer sex.
The controversial move has sparked debate around the world, but Strobel has assured critics that "it's a marketing idea and it works”.
Now I don’t know about you, but experience and case studies have shown that Mayor Gallus Strobel might be on to something.
A study of 65 drivers carried out at Ruhr University in Germany in 2009, revealed that women took an average of 20 seconds longer than men to park an Audi A6 in a 'test parking bay'. When the car had been parked by a woman it was also not placed in the gap as accurately as when done so by a man.
And I've lost count the amount of times I've been called on by my female friends who are drivers to finish off the end of a journey with my 'parking prowess'. "You do it, it'll be easier" is the one comment we men will hear the most from women.
While the idea of officially designating parking bays for men and women probably won’t get the go-ahead, it got me thinking about re-designating other pieces of tarmac for needy causes. The swell of traffic that erupts at school time is a major traffic problem; couldn't the bus lanes be used for school run mums, too?
And someone please tell me what needs to be done about the Olympic lanes, which will no doubt grind the whole of London to a halt...