I am fuming. A trip to local Tesco supermarket managed to get my blood boiling. I am talking about people parking in Parent and Child spaces with NO child. It is even worse when those people are parents themselves (car seat in the car etc) but park there when without their child. Surely they understand the struggle?
With three kids myself I would not park in these spots when I am just by myself. Just as I would not park in a disabled spot.
It is not about being close to the shops, yes it does help (especially if you have a little one who throws a strop or it is pouring down with rain). It is about being able to get the car seat out of the car. I once had to park in a space where no matter what I did I could not open the door enough to get the baby seat out :(
It is about having enough space between your car and the one next to you so that when your toddler throws the door open you don't end up damaging the car next to you.
It is about having enough space to get a screaming and kicking toddler safely into their seat and strap them in.
I also think that these spaces should be for pregnant mums as well. The amount of times I tried to squeeze my bump into the car through the narrow opening the car next to me left...
Today's trip to the pharmacy at the big Tesco on the A217 really annoyed me. I got one of the last parking spaces as I was walking to the store with my baby in a carseat in one hand, shopping bag in the other I see a lady and her dad getting into a car parked in one of the parent and child bays. I could not help myself and approached them. The conversation went something like this:
Me: "Sorry, do you know that this is a parent and child space?"
Me: (rather puzzled) "Where is your child then?"
Her: " Oh, he is not with us today."
On my way back to the car I saw two other people, both parked in child and parent spaces go back to their cars, on their own, no child.
I have asked staff at Tesco what their policy is on people doing this and was advised to take the person's car registration and talk to the customer services who will call the car owner to customer services and ask them not to do it next time. I have heard some stores are actually now taking steps to stop this from happening and can issue fines to people who do this.
Asking local mums about the issue and their experiences only proved my point. Most mums only really care about having the extra space to get their kids in and out safely. Enough room on each side of the car and a safe walkway to get to the store and back without having to worry about children getting knocked over by reversing cars or drivers speeding through the car park round the corners.
The excuses mums have heard when confronting the offender were unbelievable. From people saying they have a child seat in the car so that counts to drivers saying they have a new car and don't want it scratched!!
Does this issue bother you? Have you had a bad experience with trying to park in one of these bays and finding people who don't need them using them? So far the best solution I found is to shop for food online but it is not always possible.
Rant over :)