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People's Parking was shocked to learn that one in four parent and child bays are misused in supermarket car parks. The research carried out by the online comparison website Confused.com showed that 26% of bays were used by people without a child.

Further research has found that there's confusion around the use of parent and child parking bays. Can you park in them regardless of whether you have a child with you? How old does your child have to be before you have to stop using the spaces? Almost one in six (16%) UK drivers say the rules around parent and child parking bays are confusing. To clear up this confusion, Confused.com has compiled the guidelines for some of the top UK supermarkets so people can be confident they're adhering to the rules. 

One in 10 (11%) UK drivers who don't have children under the age of 12 and weren't travelling with a child at the time admit to using a parent-dedicated bay. But confusion around the issue can't always be blamed, as many seem to have motivation for flouting the rules.

Top reasons for misusing a parent and child parking space
  • I couldn't find another space       31%
  • There were plenty of other parent and child spaces available        31%
  • It was late at night and I didn't think there would be any parents with children around     26%
  • I was only using the space for a few minutes        22%
  • I wanted to park close to the entrance    19%

The misuse and confusion about parent and child parking bays is having a real impact on parents. Like disabled parking bays, parent and child parking spaces offer drivers with young children extra space and a spot closer to the store. This is to give them room to access car seats or buggies without the risk of smashing into the car next door, or to make crossing the road with young children that bit safer.

But despite this very valid reason for having dedicated parking, nearly a third (32%) of parents with a child under the age of 12 were forced to leave a car park because all of the dedicated parking spaces were taken. But when leaving isn't an option, parents have no choice but to find a standard parking space. In fact, nearly two thirds (64%) noticed someone misusing a parent and child parking space, which led to them having to park elsewhere.

To understand the impact this can have on parents, Confused.com has captured the frustration and struggles of having to park in a standard space in a short film. The video shows children struggling to get in and out of the car and a mum-of-three having to gather her kids on nearby bank to keep away from traffic.

As shown in the film, not being able to use a space has forced parents into some very difficult positions. More than half (55%) of parents surveyed said they struggled to get their child out of the car due to a lack of space. But this isn't the only struggle they face when parking in standard spaces, as their child's safety can also be at risk. One in four (24%) parents who had to park elsewhere witnessed a car speeding, which put their child at risk. Nearly one in three (30%) even had to carry their child across the car park because of traffic.

Given the seriousness of some of the situations struggling parents have faced, there are many drivers out there who want to see culprits penalised. In fact, more than one in five (22%) are confused as to why car parks don't fine drivers for taking advantage of parent-child parking spaces. A further one in four (27%) think all private car parks should issue fines to drivers who misuse a parent and child parking bay.

However, the issue doesn't always lie with the culprits, as half (50%) of parents don't think the parent and children parking facilities in their local supermarket are adequate. And this is echoed in the fact that more than one in four (27%) have left a car park because there weren't any dedicated parking spaces at all in the car park. 

People's Parking requires all car parks in the scheme to enforce designated bays as we recognise that having designated bays is pointless unless they are enforced. 

To read more about the research follow the link https://www.confused.com/car-insurance/parent-parking-problem


Posted on 21 Aug 2019 at 16:00:22