Parent and child spaces for those who actually need them
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Since becoming a mother 4 months ago I have realised the benefit of parent and child parking spaces in many locations, especially in supermarket car parks. They're often closer to the entrance/exit (or close to safety features to get to the entrance/exit E.g. Crossings and pavements), have wider spaces allowing for the car doors to open wider for access to car seats and the suitable shopping trollies are kept next to these spaces.
Time and time again I have witnessed people abusing these spaces. Either on their own or with kids that are so old they probably haven't needed the use of these spaces for many years. Just today, the driver in front of us at tesco took the last parent and child space, he got out of his car followed by his 3 daughters, all of which were teenagers. In my opinion this is very inconsiderate and an abuse of the facility. Would he have used a disabled space? Maybe an extreme comparison but I believe this is how these spaces need to be used and monitored. Parents need a badge like the blue disabled ones in order to use these spaces. Too many people take advantage of what should be a helping hand to young families.
Let's make Swindon the benchmark for these spaces and regulate them properly in hope the rest of the country will follow.
I have a few ideas on how to start enforcing this.
When new mothers are given their NHS exemption card they could be given a parking permit with an expiry date for when their child reaches a certain age (for when they no longer require to sit in a trolly or no longer require the use of a car seat/booster seat).
The individual shopping centres or supermarkets could issue their own parking stickers.
Bounty packs could include parking permits or stickers.
I'm sure there must be an easy and suitable way to recognise and rectify this issue. I'm sure even drivers without children would rather we use the allocated spaces, I used to wince when I saw someone park next to my pride and joy that needed to open their doors to get their children out of the vehicle.
Let's treat these spaces with as much respect as the disabled parking bays and ensure they're used by those people that actually need them!
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