One motorist found out the hard way and was fined £260!


Many car parks in the UK now provide parent/child car parking spaces which allow for closer parking to the store for example in supermarket car parks, as well as enabling the parent to take the children in and out of the vehicle more easily.

These spaces tend to be much larger than standard bays, so families juggling children and shopping can take advantage of the extra room provided by parent/child parking bays.

They’re simply there to help parents with children get them in and out of the car more easily and straight into the store without having to worry about moving vehicles.

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Drivers being urged to use parent/child car parking spaces correctly to avoid being fined. © Copyright Mick Garratt and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

However, these spaces are quite often used by drivers who think it’s okay to park in them despite having no children in tow, maybe because they’re closer to the shop/facility or because they offer a bigger space.

Misusing a parent/child parking bay could lead to a hefty fine, as one motorist found out the hard way and was punished with a £260 fine for using one of these spaces incorrectly.

The woman had a child with her but had left him sleeping in the car instead of taking her son with her whilst she went to get his medication.

According to the rules, when using such spaces, it’s necessary that the child/children accompany the parent/adult from the vehicle in order to warrant proper use of the space.

If the rules are broken, the retailer or parking firm can enforce fines on people by way of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) which can vary in cost depending on the operator of the car park.

More often than not, cameras are used as well as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to ensure fines can be enforced, whilst many car parks have a warden or member of staff monitoring the car park.

When using a parent/child parking bay, the upper age limit for a child accompanying a parent varies from car park to car park but the general age is up to 12 years old. The child/children should not be left in the vehicle and must accompany the parent/adult.

The car park should have a large board displaying their rules and laws which should be read to avoid a penalty.


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