Bristol’s biggest parking fails from the last few years

It's no secret that parking in Bristol can be pretty tricky, but some of the motorists featured in this list have taken bad parking to a whole new - and sometimes even creative - level. From the hilarity of an accidental dip in Bristol harbour, to the more serious parking matters which mean emergency services can't do their job - and, of course, that ever present plight of the Bristol Airport motorist who chooses to park in a more residential area. Here in Bristol, we've seen it all.

And, while it might not be as bad a list as this one which features stranded vehicles (some worth hundreds of thousands of pounds) on beaches or submerged in the sea in Cornwall, it's still evidence that we're a city that may need a little bit of a refresher when it comes to what actually constitutes a parking space. Just don't let what's happened to the unlucky motorists below happen to you next time you're out and about in Bristol - or you may find yourself featured in a list like this... Read more: Bristol Airport passengers turn South Bristol streets into "giant unregulated car park"

Stephen Merchant's 'The Outlaws' lorry falls into Bristol harbour

HGV used in the filming of season 2 of Stephen Merchant's BBC series 'The Outlaws' ended up in Bristol harbour in October 2021HGV used in the filming of season 2 of Stephen Merchant's BBC series 'The Outlaws' ended up in Bristol harbour in October 2021

Back in October last year (2021) an HGV ended up backwards in the water near Millennium Square, its cab on land but its trailer sinking to the depths below.

A major rescue effort got underway, with Avon Fire and Rescue and a recovery crew on scene to retrieve the lorry. And it was later confirmed by the production company behind the filming of Bristol icon Stephen Merchant's BBC series 'The Outlaws' that the vehicle was there for the filming of the second series. In fact, it was the costume truck.

It was also confirmed that nobody was injured during the incident, however the driver was left shaken.

Parked car blocks fire engine on urgent call in April 2022

A fire engine was blocked while on call to an emergency

A few months ago, a fire engine became wedged next to a parked car while out on an urgent call in Bristol. A picture, which had been taken at around 12:15am that morning, showed the emergency vehicle stuck on a residential street in the BS7 area. A witness said the fire engine was actually stuck for five minutes, adding that this sort of thing was an "annual occurrence" as they lived in an area which bordered a "Reduced Parking Zone and get all the overflow traffic".

While five minutes may not seem like a long time, it could be the difference between life and death when emergency services are on a callout. Avon Fire and Rescue Service said: "Every second counts when firefighters are responding to a 999 call. Time spent trying to squeeze between parked cars could put lives at risk.

"Our nightmare is not being able to get to the people who need us."

Multiple parked cars block fire engine in 2018

A fire engine is blocked in Cotham Side.

A similar incident took place back in 2018, when a fire engine from Avon Fire and Rescue Service was blocked from attending an incident. Southmead Fire Station tweeted an image as a fire engine attempted to get through Cotham Side in the Cotham area of Bristol. The tweet said: "Today on an incident 06P1 was unable to attend as we got stuck in the Cotham area of Bristol as cars were parked badly restricting us from proceeding.

Please be considerate when parking." A number of responses to the post however did point out that the cars in the picture were correctly parked within the marked bays. They suspected that this one may be the fault of whoever decided to mark out the bays in the first place, rather than the motorists themselves.

Bristol's 'worst pavement parking so far' this year

A van parked on the pavement in Albion Road, Easton on the morning of June 17, 2022

Just last month, a photo was shared showing what one resident called the worst example yet of 'selfish' drivers parking on pavements in the city. Rob Bryher came across this van parked right across the pavement and right up against the wall in Albion Road, Easton at around 7pm in the evening.

Mr Bryher was a campaigner among many living in Bristol who had asked for more to be done to try to stop motorists leaving their cars blocking pavements. He said drivers don't often appreciate the affect this pavement parking has on other people. "Pavement parking anywhere is particularly exclusionary of people who use wheelchairs and people carrying small children in prams or buggies as they are forced to walk in the road, endangering themselves because of someone else's selfishness," he said. "The absence of dropped kerbs also means it could be a long journey for someone in a wheelchair to manage this manouevre."

'Unorthodox parking methods' in Barton Hill back in May

This car was left on Silverthorne Lane

It's becoming a bit of a theme that these parking fails have taken place here in the year 2022 - and this next entry is definitely proof of that.

Back in May police shared a picture of one of Bristol's worst-parked cars. It was spotted on Silverthorne Lane in Barton Hill and Avon and Somerset Police detectives had to begin an investigation to try and find out who it belonged to. In a tweet, they said: "Vehicle located overnight, unattended... enquiries ongoing to identify driver and to discuss their unorthodox parking methods.

"Clue, the sign does NOT mean anything about flying vehicles!"

Mercedes driver blasted by residents back in 2019

A Mercedes parked across a new cycle lane and traffic calming installed in Bishopston, Bristol

This parking faux pas saw local residents turn on this Mercedes driver for another pretty terrible bit of parking in the city back in July 2019. The driver of this black Mercedes decided to park their car between the bollards of the brand new road layout at the crossroads where Cairns Road meets Kellaway Avenue and Coldharbour Road in Bishopston. It was left parked directly on a new cycle access lane and pavement.

Turning off the main road onto Cairns Road has long been forbidden, and to enforce that, Cairns Road becomes a one-way street for just a few yards before it reaches the main road junction. Bristol City Council revamped this junction, and created a little cycle lane which allowed bikes to turn off Coldharbour Lane onto Cairns Road, allowing cyclists to ride for a few yards against that one-way street restriction. The new junction improvements also widened the pavement to make it easier for pedestrians to cross, and meant motorists are no longer able to turn right out of Cairns Road onto Coldharbour Lane. Someone, it seems, wasn't a fan of these changes, and - it appears - left their car parked firmly there on the pavement.

The Bishopston Society tweeted at the time, calling it 'shocking behaviour', and said the driver was showing 'blatant contempt' for the new bike crossing and traffic calming measures.

Read next: