A company is citing health and safety as the reason for a directive to staff to park their cars facing the same direction. The 130 staff at engineering firm Alderley, on the outskirts of Wickwar, near Yate in Gloucestershire, all received an email on Friday telling them that, from now on, all drivers will have to reverse their cars into their parking spaces.
The directive was met with bemusement and anger by some staff but the firm insists it will improve pedestrian safety. The company denied a claim that the unusual order was issued to make the car park look as neat as possible, instead saying it is for health and safety reasons after a safety review was carried out.
An Alderley spokesperson said: "The request issued to employees to reverse park was based on a wider health and safety initiative and continuous improvement program that is being put in place to ensure pedestrian and wider workplace safety within the site.
The policy was put in place following a risk assessment that showed that given the fact that reverse parking is inherently more difficult than driving forwards it is better to reverse park into a parking space.
"When leaving driving forward, it gives you greater visibility to see pedestrians and other traffic." The Health and Safety Executive says it has no guidelines when it comes to parking, adding that it is a matter of personal choice. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: "In general it is preferable to allow the driver a choice, depending on the car park layout or circumstance."