Nabbing a parent-and-child parking space isn’t illegal, but using one without a child in your car could soon land you with a £25 fine.
Hoo-blooming-rah! About time too.
It comes as a new survey reveals that one in ten people now park in a parent-and-child bay even when they don’t have a child in the car because they’re not scared of getting punished.
As a mummy, let me tell you, it feels like more than one in ten. The chances of ever getting one of these spaces is always pretty slim.
And it’s not until you are actually faced with the logistics of getting a baby out of a car seat, and into a buggy or trolley, without scrapping the cars next to you, putting your back out or bashing your tot’s head on the door that you realise how much you really, really need the extra space.
Personally, I wish parent-and-child spaces were really far away from store entrances. I don’t want to park in the spaces because I can’t walk to the store. That’s what blue-badge holders need.
I want to park in those spaces because I need the extra room around the car to do all the baby-related maneuvering.
If they weren’t super close to the shops then it would be one less incentive for people without children to use them. Lazy people who think they can just pull up there, because “they’ll only be five minutes” or “don’t get why having a child entitles you to special treatment” might not bother with a bay that’s as far away from the shops as you can get.
Until these spaces are moved though, fines seem like a brilliant idea to me. Currently council traffic wardens can issue fines to those who break the rules in council-run car parks or on-street areas, but are powerless on private land.
And that’s what has prompted calls for a crackdown and the introduction of an on-the-spot £25 fine.
Honestly, it can’t come soon enough for us mummies and daddies…
PS AND while we’re on the subject of car seats… I need to say a big thank you to the folk at Ford, in Rayleigh, Essex.
I booked my KA in to have the passenger airbag switched off, so as I can have Sonny Jim’s rear-facing car seat in the front.
It turns out after the mechanics had started taking the car apart that my KA doesn’t even have an airbag on that side.
Thanks for not making me feel any sillier than I already did…
This post was first published in the Echo newspaper on Friday, September 8 2017: www.echo-news.co.uk