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, 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.”