19th March 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Fury over parking misuse at Tesco

A Sandwick mother has hit out at drivers who hog parent and children and disabled parking spaces at Tesco and other locations in Lerwick.

Louise Halcrow

Louise Halcrow

Louise Halcrow, whose children are Isaac, aged two, and Jessica, six, was so incensed by people using the parking spaces, which are supposed to be there for the convenience of families with children under five, that she took her complaint to the Shet Mams Facebook page on Sun­day, winning a host of messages of support and 91 “likes” in the space of 24 hours.

Ms Halcrow has been “slightly overwhelmed” by the response which has included calls for a petition and for Shet Mums to set up their own volunteer policing scheme.

There are around 25 family and disabled parking spaces, all with extra room for getting in and out of cars, at the South Road store.

The disabled spaces outside the Royal Bank on Commercial Street were also identified as a parking area ripe for abuse by able-bodied drivers.

Ms Halcrow wrote: “I think its a damn disgrace that folk still insist on making families struggle with small children at Tesco in this horrible weather while those lazy buggers park in the child spaces. We sat in our car tonight and four consecutive cars left the child spaces with no children. I think something needs to be done about this.”

Her Facebook post has yielded dozens of replies “all in support” from “a lot of other angry mams” and sparked calls for a petition to be put to Tesco. Other mothers have called for Tesco to police the car park and suggested Tesco staff should ticket offenders’ cars.

Another had complained to Tesco but had been told that as it was not against the law for anyone to use the parent and child spaces, all the supermarket staff could do was “politely educate” drivers.

Tesco deputy manager Mark Jamieson said that one of the store’s assistant managers, Jaime Carr, was already “looking at that” and had been moving improperly parked cars on. But he added that he had not heard from Ms Halcrow and was unaware of any complaints from customers about the issue.

Mr Carr said there was a problem with mis-parking at Tesco and that staff were doing “a bit of self-policing”. The worst area was the turning place beside the cash mach­ines in which customers sometimes parked.

Ms Halcrow told The Shetland Times that she had seen “young guys” parking up in the family spaces to go in for drink and had challenged various drivers who appeared to be wrongly parking in the family spaces, with mixed responses.

“I have knocked on windows and said ‘I think you have forgotten your children today’. Some people move on and others would rather give you abuse.”

Another mother wrote on Face­book how she had “got a mouthful of abuse and some terrible name calling” from “two young boys on a beer run”. She was so upset she could not face going into Tescos with her children and went home instead.

According to Ms Halcrow, the main culprits are vans and vehicles owned by trades people and taxi drivers who are nipping in for sandwiches or to the bank.

She added: “It makes life a whole different ball game when you have somewhere safe to park. It makes it a whole lot better for folk with young children.”

A van was parked at the Tesco parent and child area yesterday. Photo: Peter Johnson

A van was parked at the Tesco parent and child area yesterday. Photo: Peter Johnson

About Peter Johnson

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as an employed and freelance reporter and editor for a variety of print and broadcast media outlets and as as a freelance photographer and film maker/cameraman. In addition to journalism, I have experience in construction, oil analysis, aquaculture, fisheries, the health service and oral history.

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  1. Martyn Fisher

    Think the lack of people not stopping at Zebra crossings in Tesco’s car park also needs to be looked at. Nearly come a cropper a few times on them.

  2. Sandy McDonald

    Agree Absolutely with Louise, I have mentioned this a few times on various Forums – I always get abuse from folk who don’t see why there should be parent and toddler parking (obviously they don’t have kids). Its laziness, pure and simple. It is not just workers and tradesmen, I have seen those spaces abused by the whole demographic spectrum of Shetland!

  3. Tarique Chowdhury

    Our local supermarkets have signs alluding to fines for offenders of up to £60, but it’s questionable how effective they are if the stores own staff don’t enforce them. Though wonder how a taxi or a trades van would feel if they had a two hour clamp put on them – I know it would hog the space for a bit longer, but don’t you think that in a place the size of Mainland that word would get out pretty fast for the next white (or blue) can man? Or woman of course!

  4. fraser cluness

    It’s their carpark they can do what they want, if the special spaces are causing so much hassle they would/might be better removing them alltogether, or possibley charge for parking on them with a paid member of staff funded with the income? I totaly agree about disabled parking only being used by blue badge owners. This might be opening a massive can of worms.

  5. Janet Dunnet

    I for 1 do not park in mother and child spaces, However I have seen plenty that do but Tesco and other supermarkets supply these spaces to help there customers with children with the goodness of there heart however it is not compulsory for them to do this they could quite as easily remove them, Disabled parking is an offence to park in without blue badge and also part of highway code to stop at a zebra crossing …..It doesn’t take much working out ….The law is the law to all road users although it would only be polite to allow mothers with young children to leave spaces for them as set out by Tesco….just my opinion as you could argue all day over this 1….

  6. Paul marchington

    Just to play devils advocate here but it is a real nightmare trying to park a van in a supermarket car park. I’d never park in a disabled spot but parent and child spaces just don’t feel so taboo. If supermarkets would make some larger spaces for vans then at least part if this problem would go away. Put them in a far flung corner of the car park, I really don’t mind walking I just don’t want my wages docked for dinging the van.

  7. Rachel Buchan

    I actually don’t understand what the problem is. The parent has to park in a space which is not right next to the supermarket doors – so what? Children are not made of bone china, and will survive having to walk 20 or 30 feet to shelter (or be pushed in a buggy which has a weatherproof covering anyway). It may be immoral to park in these spaces, and if I was a driver I wouldn’t, but it is not illegal. My children have always had to walk from the nearest bus stop, or even from my house, and none of them has ever suffered ill-health because of it. A bit of a storm in a teacup, I think.

  8. John Smith

    For gods sake stop moaning and just get on with your sad life. A parking space is a parking space if you are too lazy to walk from the car to the store in a normal bay then go else where!

  9. Ann Shuardson

    The reason for child places. They are wider , so when the child is lifted from the seat your car next to it will not be battered by a car door as the door can be opened wider with out damage to other cars. Wether you use them is for you to decide. And of course children can walk, its just a case of every little helps. help one and other. Kindness goes a long way. And yes stop moaning , both sides lifes too short, Just take a peek at the news.

    • fraser cluness

      thats a very good point, car parking spaces are far too small for the bigger cars and vans, all you need is one person to park wrong and no-one can move. Personally i would remove them (children spaces) and make the rest of the carpark the same bif family size parking spaces then everyone will have more room to get in and around the place. and none of this carry on. the only folk that realy need to be next to the door is disabled people, and only if that disabled person is actualy going into the shop. i do wonder how parents cope going to the other supermarket or park in the towncentre as they dont have child spaces anywhere.

  10. John Tulloch

    Will you all stop telling people not to moan, it’s far better to get it off your chest on here than to have a blow up with someone in the car park.

    And frankly, I’d say Louise Halcrow’s description of the offenders was about right – more diplomatic than mine would have been if I was in her position.

    Louise and people like her are having to fight their way to their cars with multiple small children and a large trolley containing “da helly errands” while a “baand o lazy puddens canna walk da lent o’ dir muckle tae wi’ a handfu’ o’ sandwiches.”

    “Sheem apo’ you!”

  11. reg fox

    it’s not at just one Tesco’s but all the shops the security ignores the problem the management also take no notice why have these spaces if they allow all and sundry to park where they want I iive in barking in Essex although they have a large car park the prime spots for parking are the disabled and family spots thy normally are used by those people using the cash dispenser the only way to get them interested is boycott
    the branches

  12. Sandy McDonald

    I think the only supermarket that actually enforces their car parking rules is Asda. They issue a £50 parking fine if a person is caught misusing a disabled space or family parking space. It’s up to the companies to police their own car parks – the local councils have no power over them. It drives me up the wall when I see them misused, the other option would be for local folk to take pics of offenders and put them on social media sites to name and shame them (not that this would have much effect I guess).

  13. David Spence

    It is quite simple, if you need to park in area’s designated for families or disabled, Tesco’s should issue you with a ticket, once the circumstances have been checked (as in you are disabled or you have children in the car or with you at the time and the car is parked in the appropriate car parking space).

    If on the other hand, you do not comply with the conditions and you are occupying a parking space which you should not be, an instant fine of £50.00 should be given to you or you are stopped (this would require monitoring by Tesco) before leaving the parking space and given the penalty.

    I am sure as word gets around the community about the fines, people will or may be adhere to the rules and leave those car parking spaces to the rightful people.


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