Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Britain is `car parking mad', says rural group 2/24point bold of spacey

Britain has gone "parking mad" with town centres and villages increasingly dominated by car parks, according to a report published today.

An area twice the size of Birmingham is devoted to parking and an area larger than Leicestershire is taken up by roads, the Council for the Protection of Rural England says.

CPRE campaigner, Tony Burton, said: "We are losing the quality of valued and beautiful landscapes and historic market places are buried beneath parked cars and residential streets are clogged by traffic."

Transport decisions should not be made in isolation from their land use impact, he said.

Mr Burton continued: "Every new mile of road brings demands for extra parking spaces, quarries, service areas, garages and all the other paraphernalia which accompanies our dependence on the motor car."

The council's report, Parking Mad, has been published as the council's contribution to transport minister Brian Mawhinney's "national debate" over transport policy. "We urge Dr Mawhinney to make the more efficient use of land a central objective of his reforms to transport policy," Mr Burton said.