DRIVERS in the Worcestershire are among those in the Midlands wrongly taking advantage of parent and child parking spaces, leaving mums and dads battling to find spaces with young children in tow.
Research for car insurance comparison site Confused.Com has revealed one in seven parent and child parking bays are misused in West Midlands
Nearly seven in ten (69 per cent) of drivers in the West Midlands have witnessed someone wrongly using a parent and child parking space with some culprits admit to taking up a parent and child parking space because they ‘wanted to park close to the entrance’.
A total of 31 per cent of culprits admitted wrongly parking as they couldn’t find a space while the same amount parked because ‘there were plenty of other parent and child spaces available’.
Just under a quarter (22 per cent) said they parked in the space ‘only for a few minutes’ while 26 per cent admitted to using the bay late at night when they didn’t think there would be any parents with children around.
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.
Despite this, nearly a third (32 per cent) 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 per cent) noticed someone misusing a parent and child parking space, which led to them having to park elsewhere.
More than half (55 per cent ) of parents surveyed said they struggled to get their child out of the car due to a lack of space, one in four who had to park elsewhere witnessed a car speeding, while nearly one in three (30 per cent) even had to carry their child across the car park because of traffic
According to the findings, 27 per cent of parents think all private car parks should fine those who misuse a parent and child parking bay.
Half of parents surveyed don’t think the parent and children parking spaces in their local supermarket are adequate and 27 per cent have left a car park because there weren’t any dedicated parking spaces at all in the car park.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “Parents face battles every day and trying to find parking at the local shop shouldn’t be one of them.
“If you aren’t travelling with a child you shouldn’t be parking in the dedicated spaces and instead save these for the mums and dads out there who need the space.