Wilderness car parkOne in seven workers are getting into work more than an hour earlier than their contracted start time in order to secure a parking space, new AA research has revealed.

The competition for workplace parking spaces is being dubbed ‘parking paranoia’ by AA president Edmund King, who recommended car-sharing schemes and better public transport as solutions to commuters’ lost family time.

Figures reveal almost two thirds of commuting is done by car and the AA survey of 10,000 motorists shows London, the West Midlands and the North East are worst for parking paranoia.

In London, nearly half of all commuters worry about where they are going to park when they get to work.

“Good employers keep an eye on parking availability for their workers and, when pressure on spaces increases, may go to the local authority if some outside influence such as another company’s expansion starts to make life hell for their employees,” said King.

“Local authorities providing more long-term parking can help, although it doesn’t seem to be one of their top priorities. Perhaps that will change if proposals to give them the proceeds of business rates go ahead.”

The AA survey also revealed pressure to get into work at least an hour early is felt most strongly by lower-income drivers – without time off to compensate if they choose to start work early rather than waiting for their shift to begin.