Mum hits out after driver blocks parent parking space outside supermarket

A parent-child parking space sign at a supermarket. Picture: ARCHANT

A parent-child parking space sign at a supermarket. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

The issue of parent and child parking outside supermarkets has been reignited on social media, after a Suffolk mum hit out over a space being wrongly used.

Parents with small children often find it hard parking outside supermarkets. Picture posed by model.

Parents with small children often find it hard parking outside supermarkets. Picture posed by model. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Suzannah Couszins posted in the Halesworth Community Voice group to complain about a man who parked in a parent-toddler bay outside the town's Central England Co-operative store.

She said: "I asked where his child was. He said he was picking him up. He left with no children at all.

"It really annoys me, not because the spaces are closer to the store, but because the extra space means my daughter won't bang the door against anyone else's car.

"She's three and, as much as I explain to her not to, she still swings the door wide."

Ipswich mum Nicola Warren has also noticed spaces allocated to parents being wrongly used.

"I've seen people who don't have children parking in parent and baby spaces a few times, and it annoys me," she said.

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"It's really important that they're kept for customers with young children.

"When my daughter was a baby, we had an infant carrier which clipped into a base in the car. We had to open the door wide to get her in and out, which is impossible in normal parking spaces, especially if other people haven't parked very well."

'We ask shoppers to follow guidance provided'

Parent parking was also in the news last year when mum Jenna Brett was fined after parking in a parent space at the East of England Co-op store in Combs Lane near Stowmarket.

Her husband, Martin, stayed in the car with their son, Elliot, who had just fallen asleep, while Jenna ran in to grab some supplies. She was back at the car within five minutes, but a week later the couple were shocked to receive a parking charge notice because they had not taken Elliot out of the car.

Following the latest incident in Halesworth, a spokesperson for Central England Co-operative said: "Parent and child car parking spaces are installed for the benefit of our customers and members with small children.

"While the use of these spaces is not actively policed, we would ask those using our car parks to follow the guidance provided and show courtesy to those who require them."

Other supermarkets take varying approaches, with Sainsbury's and Tesco both sometimes fining people who use the spaces inappropriately. A Sainsbury's spokesman said: "The vast majority of our customers are very considerate of parents with young children and respect family bays.

"If our parking attendants find these bays are being misused they will, in the first instance, ask the driver to move their car. If they refuse, they will be issued with a parking charge notice."

A Tesco spokesman said their car parks are regularly patrolled to ensure the spaces are being used by people who need them. "If we do notice any misuse of these dedicated spaces then we would approach the occupants of the vehicle and ask them to relocate to an alternative space. Where appropriate, we would consider issuing a parking fine."

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