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Parent Parking - is fining the answer?

By September 08, 2017

Close up of a man driving a car

Parent parking is something that has really struck a cord with me over the past few weeks. During both my last two weekly shopping trips to Aldi, I've witnessed people with no children parking in the parent parking bays, so I was pleased to read that there are plans for an on the spot £25 fine to be imposed to anyone that parks in one of these bays and who doesn't have a child with them. However, these plans don't come without concern.

My main queries with the on the spot fine, is how will this be policed? Are retailers and/or councils really going to pay out for an enforcement agency or traffic warden to monitor these bays all day every day? Or will they pay out for camera controlled areas and number plate recognition in order to impose these fines? And in the long run who is really going to be shelling out for someone to observe every single vehicle that comes and goes from these spaces and who is and isn't inside each vehicle? it doesn't seem as simple as slapping everyone that misuses these spaces with a fine.

I've witnessed firsthand people misusing these spaces and from what I saw no one other than me battered an eyelid at it. On my first trip to Aldi, as I was putting little one back into her car seat, I noticed the owner of the car next to me returning to his car, so I had a little nose and noticed that he had no children with him, nor did he even have any child seats in the car. After he returned to his vehicle, he spent a good few minutes on his phone, taking up a space he wasn't even entitled to for even longer.

Red car and blue car parked in side by side in parking bays

I came across a similar scenario last week, again when I was putting little one back in her car seat. A middle aged couple with no children got into their car with a very small amount of shopping. The space they had taken up was the parent parking right at the front of the car park in front of the main door.

These spaces are clearly marked, leaving no question over whether these people should or shouldn't park in them.

I have no problem with stores having parent parking away from the front of the shop so that these spaces can be utilised for disabled parking. It's the wider spaces, making it far easier to get baby in and out of the car that I find most useful.

Now, I'm not the kind of person to confront someone about their actions, especially not in a public place with a small baby. Besides, what could I do? Both times, the individuals were leaving when I spotted them and saw they weren't entitled to use the space they had parked in.

I'm interested to hear your experiences of parent parking, so please feel free to comment below. Does it bother you that those with no children with them use these spaces? And if you witness an individual with no children parking in one of these bays, would you confront them?

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