There job is to make life easier for families with young children


The UK has parent & child parking bays in most car parks to make life easier for families with young children. They are normally located closer to the shops, allowing for parents to open the car doors wider for easier movement of children, with less chance of catching cars parked on either side.

Being closer to the shops also means you don’t have to worry about crossing a busy car park, which is much safer for the kids and less stressful for the parents.

However, parent parking bays are misused by around one in four drivers. In fact, almost two thirds of parents say they’ve seen other drivers misusing a parent & child parking bay, forcing them to park in another spot.

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Parent & child parking bays are located close to the store, allowing for safe access to the shops. © Copyright Adrian Cable and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

To see just how big of a problem it is, visited supermarkets throughout the UK.

Apparently, it’s in the North East where they have the highest proportion of people misusing such bays, as 64% were observed doing just that. In comparison, only 5% of people were observed doing the same in the South West.

Reasons given for the misuse of parent & child parking bays varied, with 31% of drivers saying it was because they couldn’t find a space, whilst another 31% said they noticed a lot of spaces were allocated for a parent & child, so thought it might be okay to use one.

Others said it was ‘only for a few minutes’, whilst some said they thought it was okay to park in them when it was later in the day.

When using a parent & child parking bay, your child/children must be aged under 12. The rules for pregnant women vary from store to store, so it’s always best to ask in-store about whether these bays can be used.

Some supermarkets do have enforcements in place that could lead to a fine for misuse of such bays, whilst others simply rely on customer honesty.



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