Town introduces 'female' parking spots

Last updated 13:35 12/07/2012

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The mayor of a German town has sparked controversy by introducing special "easy" parking spots for women.

Mayor Gallus Strobel, from the Black Forest town of Triberg, told Germany's Spiegel magazine he introduced the spots because men were better at parking than women.

The women's spaces, which are marked by female symbols, are reportedly better lit and wider, while the men-only spots have concrete pillars to negotiate and can only be reversed into.  

Strobel told the magazine that women were welcome to attempt parking in the men-only spots, but that "men are, as a rule, a little better at such challenges". He denied accusations of sexism, pointing out that there were 10 women-only spots in the carpark compared to only two men-only spots.

He said he hadn't noticed a big backlash against the scheme, but had been surprised by the level of interest from international media, which he said was good for local tourism.

"Women can come here and prove me wrong, and while they're at it they can see the town's attractions," he told the magazine.

Triberg is not the first place to introduce women's parking zones. A car park in the Chinese city of Tianjin China recently introduced a women-only parking zone.

The area is marked with a pink paint scheme and includes wider spots, brighter lighting and additional guide rails.

Recent research has thrown up different results on the question of which is the fairer sex behind the wheel.

In January, a UK study found that women were better parkers because they were more careful and took more time to park accurately.

But a more recent study by the UK's Department for Transportation's Driving Standards Agency found that females are more likely to fail a driving test than males because they tend to have issues reverse parking.

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