To Park or Not To Park…? (Part Two)

Could someone enlighten me to the intended users of Parent and Child spaces at a number of the local supermarkets?

I ask this question as a mother of a six month old baby, who currently rides in a rear facing carrier which is part of a travel system. Back in April I wrote a blog post about whether expectant mothers could use the spaces as I was six months pregnant. I found I struggling to get in and out of my car when I parked in normal width spaces due my own extra width and the lack of space between two parked cars. And on this particular occasion a car had parked too close to my car and I was only just able to squeeze my six month pregnant bump into the car.

When I approached the mainstream supermarkets (Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Asda) about their rules around pregnant ladies using their Parent and Child spaces while in their stores.

Tesco, Morrisons and Asda all agreed that as an expectant mother I could use the space however Sainsbury’s said that I could only use the space if accompanied by a child under the age of 12 unless I spoke to the individual store Customer Service Manager for special permission. I’m guessing I could have argued that a 30 week old foetus was under the age of 12 and was accompanying me but that wasn’t the point.

A couple of months ago, I took my baby to the doctors and ended up talking to a gentleman about how much of a challenge it can be to get the car seat out in supermarkets and he attempted to justify that Blue Badge holders could park in Parent and Child spaces when there aren’t enough Blue Badge spaces available and they weren’t accompanied by a child. Is this really allowed or has someone adopted the idea and it’s spread?

Furthermore, This week I have been to the Aldi store on Church Lane twice. On the first occasion there were no Parent and Child spaces available so I had to park in a normal space and manoeuvre the baby carrier from the car without causing damage to the car next to me. However as I walked towards the store two ladies left the store and returned to their cars, both weren’t accompanied by children and when I glanced into their cars there were no car seats. On the second visit (I didn’t have my child with me on this occasion), a young gentleman was loading his shopping into the boot of his car and although he had a “baby on board” yellow sign in the back of his car, he wasn’t accompanied by a child. Also on leaving the store there was another lady leaving her car to enter the store and again had parked in the Parent and Child space without being accompanied by a child.

Am I misunderstanding the intentional use of these spaces? If I’m allowed to use it when I’m not accompanied by my six month old child then I’ll start using them all the time instead of for their intended use.

I’m more and more tempted to start carrying slips like this.

This is a Parent and CHILD space. You seem to have forgotten your child

Found here – it’s titled My Parent and Child Parkin Crusade. I’d like to buy this lady a coffee and a slice of cake because I think it’s so simple but an absolutely genius idea.