Parent and child parking bays

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There seems to be much confusion on parent and child parking spaces, like are there any laws, rules and can fines be issued? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding parent and child parking.

Are there any laws on parent and child parking spaces?
At the moment there are none as such, parent and child parking rules vary depending on where they are. For example on private land owned by a supermarket, they will have their own rules and may fine those who abuse the spaces if they are caught using them without a young child present.

There is a lot of gripe surrounding the use of parent and child parking spaces as this is still fairly new; years ago they did not exist and everyone regardless of age, disability or whether they had a family or not parked wherever there was a free space. Nowadays on top of parent and child parking spaces there are spaces reserved for the disabled too.
What are parent and child parking spaces for?
Well like the name title suggests they are spaces that are reserved for men or women who have small children with them when they go shopping. Most parent and child parking spaces are closer to the store entrance but that is not the reason why they are used. Most commonly they have larger parking bays so parents can get their child in and out safely and quickly. If they were to park in a ‘normal, standard’ parking bay then they would not have enough room and the car next to theirs would end up having dents and scratches as a result. These parking spaces should be used for this purpose only, if a child is able to walk and a car seat is not used then a parent and child parking space should be left for those who have younger children.

Is there an age restriction on parent and child parking?
There aren’t really any age restrictions but it’s mostly aimed for those who have children under 3, I disagree with people who say that older children are entitled too because of a stroller. How many times have you seen someone visit the supermarket to do their shopping with a child in a stroller? Each supermarket or private parking organisations have their own rules regarding this so it’s worthwhile reading before leaving your car.
Can you be fined for parking in a parent and child parking space?
Most supermarkets have now enforced parking fines if there is evidence that they are being abused. For example childless people who use it to be nearer to the entrance, those who do not believe in parent and child parking spaces and those who have children but none present with them at the time of shopping. Some supermarkets are imposing a fine of £60 and because it is private land, they can choose how much to fine as they are not regulated by the council.

gices Published 20 Jun 2011

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