Parking place plea (Donna Murray)

As the winter weather hits with a vengeance, I am pleading with people who park in the parent/child parking spaces at Tesco when they have no children in their car.

As a mum of two young children I often get really annoyed when you can’t get parked in the parent/child designated spaces due to them being taken up by cars which obviously have no young children in them.

The spaces are designed to allow parents plenty of room for getting their children out of the shopping trolley and into their car seats safely without having to worry about the doors bumping the car next to you.

So I plead, especially since the winter gales are here, please think before parking in these spaces, if you have no children and are able to walk the isles of Tesco for your shopping, you can surely walk the few extra metres and park in another space leaving the designated parent/child spaces for people who really need and appreciate them.

Donna Murray


Add Your Comment
  • Charles McQueen

    • November 28th, 2011 19:03

    I would also like to point out that the spaces are ment for YOUNG childrean and parents and not for older children who can walk themselves. You know who you are and you are simply being selfish.

  • Karen Goodlad

    • November 29th, 2011 14:00

    The spaces are for Parents with Children under 5, as the parent of a 2 year old I completely understand the annoyance, often people park there just running to the cash machine. However it is unfair to say that children who can “walk” shouldn’t use those spaces. I still have to get her safely in her car seat and she is so light she struggles to walk in the wild weather there without blowing away!

  • Jim MacLeod

    • November 29th, 2011 15:29

    I think it’s more about the spaces between cars. The increased space between these bays allows parents to safely place their young children in/out of pushchairs/trollies/childseats.

    I don’t see the distance to the door being very relevant.

    Let’s name & shame, post photos with numberplates of those who abuse the restricted spaces.

  • Les Lowes

    • November 29th, 2011 16:25

    I empathise completely with you Donna.

    I frequently find it impossible to park in one of the spaces reserved for disabled drivers because of cars parked there which are not displaying EU blue badges. These spaces have extra width, which people with disabilities often need to get their doors open wide enough to get in or out of the car.

    At Tescos there are three disabled driver spaces close to the cashpoint machine. Although not laid out for parking, the access road and manouvre space in front of them is often blocked by drivers who find this to be a convenient parking spot for them to visit the cash machines, trapping disabled drivers in their allotted parking spaces unable to get out without a great deal of to-ing and fro-ing..

    Perhaps we all need to be a little more thoughtful about where exactly we park in supermarket car parks, outside banks and so on, leaving clearly designated spaces clear for the people who really need them.

  • Sandy McDonald

    • November 30th, 2011 10:42

    Hear Hear! Nothing annoys me more than seeing a car pull up in the family parking spaces and a young lad nip into the store for his carry out. Although I should point out that men and women of all ages are guilty. I confronted a young-ish lady last winter when I saw her using one of the spaces, she didn’t even have the decency to look shamed, I just got a mumbled excuse about her being in a hurry.

    Also it ticks me off when you see a couple pull into the spaces with a kid – BUT – only one of the parents goes into the shop leaving the other in the car with the children – thats not how the spaces were intended to be used!

    I wish Tescos would do a bit more to enforce this.

    P.S. You never have a problem getting a parent and child space on the mainland – why are there so few spaces in our tescos car park?

  • D Sandison

    • November 30th, 2011 15:08

    On the mainland a lot of the supermarket car parks have attendents that enforce the parking rules & can even give out £50 fines. Perhaps Tesco should consider this option? It would also mean a few more folk with a job.

  • Dawn Haydon

    • November 30th, 2011 16:28

    How can a supermarket “enforce” a parking rule which isn’t law? Parent and Child parking spaces are a marketing ploy by supermarkets. It’s a privilege for those who have children. Why should others, who don’t have children, be penalised?

    I personally think supermarkets should provide more disabled parking spaces, not Parent and Child parking.

  • Ian Bruce

    • November 30th, 2011 16:32

    What about the disabled they have three spaces
    And the parent/child parking spaces have a lot more
    And three is no need to point out abut the disabled spaces at the other side of Tesco’s
    As that door on that other side is always locked in the wintertime’s windy and rain conditions

  • D Sandison

    • November 30th, 2011 21:32

    They certainly do enforce there parking rules! They enforce both parent & child spaces as well as the disabled spaces (if no badge is shown a ticket is issued). It works much the same way as clamping did. The car park belongs to the supermarket so as long as the company has signs up telling the customers the rules & what will happen if they break the rules they are quite within the law to issue tickets!

  • Mike Smith

    • December 1st, 2011 0:45

    I sympathise.

    It’s not just the child & parent spaces, the abuse of the disabled spaces is something to behold, personally I never thought being too lazy to walk an extra 50 metres counted as a disability however I seem to be mistaken.

  • Sandy McDonald

    • December 1st, 2011 10:51


    You obviously don’t have kids or you wouldn’t speak such rot. The reason the parent and child spaces are near the door are so you don’t have to negotiate a busy car park with two toddlers. And if you have ever tried to get a kid in and out of a car seat you would apprieacte the extra door opening room. I suppose you are one of the lazy ones that use the spaces without good reason cos you are too lazy to walk. I have a child and wouldn’t dream of using the spaces unless my 3 year old daughter was coming into the store with me.

  • Dawn Haydon

    • December 1st, 2011 14:50

    @ Sandy

    It’s none of your business whether I have children or not. And, you suppose wrong.

  • Theo Nicolson

    • December 1st, 2011 19:55

    Plenty of room at the Co-op carpark and plenty of room in the aisles for pushchairs.

  • Keith Martin

    • December 1st, 2011 21:55

    We had an issue here where I live, Tesco commented that there is no contract between the driver and Tesco, so the spaces and their use are more for courtesy. So, Tesco would have to enforce a contract to be able to act, which could scare away customers.

  • D Sandison

    • December 2nd, 2011 10:42

    Sounds like an excuse from Tesco not to act! Sainsburys and other supermarkets on the mainland seem to manage to do it!

  • Robert Sim

    • December 3rd, 2011 13:50

    Regarding D Sandison’s comments about supermarkets south, I have never seen any car-parking attendants there and/or any tickets being issued and I have more experience than I care to think of in those places south! It is also something I have never heard my south-based relatives mention. Is there any factual basis for D Sandison’s assertions?

  • D Sandison

    • December 4th, 2011 8:56

    It is certainly factual and happens in and about London & Hertfordshire where I happen to visit very often!

  • Colin Hunter

    • December 5th, 2011 16:08

    I remember a very effective deterrent which was used by the parking attendants at Southampton College of Technology (Now part of Southampton Solent university) when I was a Merchant Navy Engineer Cadet there in the early ’70s. It involved a very large sticker which was attached to the drivers side of the windscreen, completely obscuring the drivers line of sight. It merely said that they were not entitled to park there. It was impossible to remove in one piece and came off in bits no larger than a postage stamp, leaving a sticky residue behind. Perhaps something of that order would be a good idea! Repeat offenders were almost unknown!

  • Karl Odie

    • December 5th, 2011 23:00

    As a parent living on the mainland, near Swindon, I only wish that Sandy McDonald’s comments about never having trouble getting a space were true. I’ve seen parents pulling into these spots, child seat – no child. Many don’t even have the seat and with the law on child seats that’s just advertising that your breaking the rules. The only place I can consistently find a free spot is Lidl, they also have the widest spots, almost double a normal space.

    Attendants do patrol in some, but from what I gather the limit of what they can enforce is parking fines for overstaying your 2 hours etc.

    Colin – the college I was at employed the same tactic. Great deterrent, but there were always a few everyday who parked on the grass.

  • G Leask

    • December 6th, 2011 3:33

    Colin, a few years back, before the pay and display and wardens etc the LK harbour trust used the same windscreen sticker method to fairly good effect on the Victoria Pier( I’m speaking from a frustrating experience as you can probably tell 🙂 Rest assured it certainly curtailed my parking choice and could certainly prove useful at the above spots!

  • D Sandison

    • December 6th, 2011 13:18

    The fine does cover the disabled and parent & child parking bays. The supermarkets use a company called Euro Car Parks. If you have a look at the site below and read the Parking Charge Notice you will see what it covers. Currently the fine is £60 in some supermarket car parks.

  • p barlow

    • December 6th, 2011 14:20

    lets just clear this up. tickets that are issued in private car parks for breaking the terms and conditions are not fines. only the police and councils can issue parking tickets. the parking companies that issue them are extremly dodgy. wishing for one of those to control parking is just like the turkey loving christmas.
    blue badges on private land are not valid. car parks are ment to provide parking for disabled drivers/passangers, the requirement to display a blue badge is possibly a breach of the disability discrimination act.
    please have a look at this forum it shows how dodgy the private parking companies are.

    you don’t have to pay them and you would be very wise not to.
    now off that subject why are the child and parent parking place closer to the door than the disabled at tesco’s. also the bollards on the far side of tesco can be a pain when trying to get your shopping back.

  • Colin Hunter

    • December 6th, 2011 18:11

    @ Karl Odie, the ones who parked on what little grass there was at Southampton got the same treatment, except the sticker said they should only park in designated areas and display their permit at all times.
    @ D. Sandison, Perhaps we’re onto something here. I Have a blue parking badge at present, which I will have to give up once my hips are replaced. I will gladly do so when the time comes, believe me! However, at present there is little more annoying than watching someone pull into the last disabled space, toss a badge on the dash and then RUN from the car into the building! That’s happened more than once!
    I agree that the parent and child spaces are much more user friendly than the disabled ones. For instance, if you want to use either the toilets or the cash machines. The Bollards at the disabled side aren’t the problem as much as the new trolley garage that’s so close you can’t get a trolley through the gap!

  • D Sandison

    • December 7th, 2011 9:41

    But you only get a ticket if you are abusing the parking spaces! Therefore I am totally for the issue of them & believe the offender should pay, maybe then they will think twice about parking in the spaces next time! Funny if they are completely illegal that these companies are employed by the big supremarkets and many other companies to operate their car parks!!

  • p barlow

    • December 7th, 2011 11:50

    read the thread that i posted. its quiteimportant to understand that these companies are the same type that were banned from clamping in scotland. recently they tryed to takr someonr to court for 240 quid and 5000 in legal costs. due to the man failing to pay parking charges he was in the end ordered to pay the £15 that was owed. these companies can not issue penilties they can only claim theactual loss. if itsa freecar park then there loss is 0. please don’t mistake these companies as the friend of the good driver/car park user.

  • S Semple

    • December 7th, 2011 11:51

    I would suggest that the reason the Parent & Child parking is closer to the door than the Disabled parking is for one of safety. Having to push a trolley across a car park with one or more children in tow is particularly hazardous, more hazardous than when you only have yourself to look after, disabled or not. The fact that the area is designated as ‘Parent and Child’ has not prevented others from all parts of society using it frequently, including the disabled even when there have been many unoccupied disabled parking spaces. The shame is that there’s no big outcry about this similar to when disabled parking places are misused other than the occasional discussion such as this. What was initially a plea to consider the the hazards that parents have to endure when shopping with young ones turns into “why do you need parking special parking spaces?” and “what about us disabled folk”. I fully appreciate and understand that disabled parking is important and the requirement for it to be close to the entrance of the establishment but the risks and hazards are different to that for parents with young children when it comes to getting from car to shop and back again safely. And I emphasise “safely”.

    Like many things in life it is sometimes difficult to understand a situation unless you have experienced it yourself. I suspect that, regardless of the pleas and the requests for consideration, the only persons who will truly understand are those who have had to maneuver a shopping trolley that struggles to go naturally straight or follows the awkward camber of the pavement and at the same time guide a three year old child that will not look where they are going or want to go in the opposite direction as you then attempt to open the boot and doors of the car in the howling wind whilst preventing your trolley sliding into the car next to you or into the road, or catching your child’s falling hat before it hits the puddle in a manner that would have had Ian Botham giving you a standing ovation, or stopping the contents of said trolley flying towards Oslo with one hand as you strap your child safely into their seat before they wander into the traffic flow with the other.

    My children are ‘over age’ for the Parent and Child parking and they now understand how dangerous a car park can be but hazards for children are still there, they still have moments of rushing ahead and not thinking clearly, walking backwards or chasing a dropped toy that bounces into the road. However, I would never dream of parking in the Parent and Child area or the disabled parking area as the hazards and risks for others are greater than mine and my family. Even using the Zebra Crossing at Tesco is no safe option nowadays with the way vehicles of all kinds constantly park next to the crossing, obscuring the view for both pedestrians and other vehicles. A serious accident is going to happen there one day. I have witnessed several near misses, with buses and taxis being the main culprits. In all these cases, private property or not, please don’t get into bad habits as you may end up with a fine when you practice your same poor road craft and illegal parking sense in an area where you will have no option but to stump up when caught.

  • Colin Hunter

    • December 7th, 2011 21:39

    I really think that Tescos ought to have a re-think of their access doors. We were in Town today with an elderly neighbour who also has a blue badge in her own right. When we got to Tesco’s we discovered that, although it was flat calm, the door on the Disabled side was still out of use with trolleys parked behind it. Had I not managed to find a space a bit nearer, she would have had to walk all the way round to the other door. She, like me, is OK once she has a trolley for support, but finds it very difficult to negotiate the cambered kerb along the side of the foyer with a trolley. (as I do) While we were looking for an alternative space, a gentleman in a white Toyota Prius parked in the Parent & Child section, jumped out and went into the building alone. It was only when we were going to the door that we realised there were actually two small children still in the vehicle! Cunning or what! (and probably illegal!)
    One thing I have never been able to fathom though, is why so few people actually reverse into the P&C spaces. Think about it and you’ll see it would have many advantages.
    1. You could just go straight to the boot with your shopping without having to bump down the kerb, squeeze between vehicles with the trolley and stand in the roadway to load the car.
    2. When you open the car door to extract/insert the young ones, the open door would help to prevent them from straying into the road while you deal with No2, or whatever.
    3 You don’t have to reverse out into the roadway and have a possible bump.
    There are probably more that I can’t think of but you’ll see it makes sense!

  • Morag MacLeod

    • December 10th, 2011 3:11

    I spotted a police car parked in a family bay at the Co-op (when they used to have them at the left hand side of the entrance). It didn’t appear to be there to attend an emergency and I didn’t see any baby seats. I wish now I’d taken a photo.

  • Colin Hunter

    • December 10th, 2011 10:01

    Maybe he was there with his mum!

  • S V Jolly

    • December 10th, 2011 20:02

    I’m quite gobsmacked at this thread. What on earth do you think parents did years ago? Blimey, my old son is in his twenties but I recall when he was a toddler using ‘safety reins/harness’ to stop him from straying. Why can’t you?

    As for the car park being busy – please get real. Supermarkets in London are far busier than the likes of those in Lerwick.

    Personally, I’d do away with the parent/child bays and increase the number of disabled bays as the disabled, quite frankly, deserve and require the bays far more than parents and children – or doesn’t the safety and comfort of the disabled count?

  • Colin Hunter

    • December 14th, 2011 0:40

    We were in Tescos again today, and I noticed only one car in the P&C spaces had reversed in. I then realised why my recent suggestion is of little practical use. I had not noticed that Tescos, in their infinite wisdom, have placed bollards all the way along the kerb there, the same ones which cause problems at the disabled side, making it awkward for anyone to place a trolley at the rear of a vehicle and load the boot from the safety of the kerb. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! What actual good do these 3 foot tall posts actually do? Other than maiming the unwary? Come along Tescos! have a rethink on the entire car park, as it stands it’s no better than a shambles!

  • S V Jolly

    • December 14th, 2011 17:10

    Surely if the bollards were not there it would result in a trolley (or more?) colliding with a car causing some damage to the bodywork? From past visits to supermarkets where bollards are placed alongside kerbs, I’ve experienced no difficulties in positioning my trolley against a bollard and loading my shopping into my car boot.

  • Colin Hunter

    • December 14th, 2011 19:26

    They weren’t there for the however may years the place was operated by Presto, Safeway, Morrisons and Somerfield. ( have I missed one??) And we managed perfectly well without them.Those were “public” spaces up until Tesco made them P&C and I always parked there (Reversed in) if there was space, because of the ease of loading the car and the fact that I didn’t have to walk very far. I see no need whatever for such things now, and I can’t see what difference it would make to the likelihood of a close encounter of the trolley kind. There’s a far bigger chance of a poorly navigated trolley missing them than hitting them instead of the car. Anyway, people should be more careful. There’s a nice ding in the SIDE of my car where some oick modified it squeezing between their car and mine to get to the boot which was at the “wrong” end! The bollard is 6 inches wide. The Car is 6 FEET! and the bollard will only protect that very small part of the front or rear. Not much good in my case!
    The last time I reverse parked into one of the disabled spaces I couldn’t open the boot because of the bollard and had to shift the car in order to load it.


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