More than one in ten parent and child parking spaces misused in the North West

Drivers in the North West of England are wrongly taking advantage of parent and child parking spaces, leaving mums and dads battling to find spaces with young children in tow.

Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 4:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 4:30 pm

That’s according to an investigation by Confused.com, which saw more than one in ten (11%) parent and child parking spaces across the region being misused.

Researchers monitored dedicated spaces in supermarkets to find a shocking number of people taking advantage of the extra space bays.

Confused.com isn’t the only witness to this behaviour.

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More than one in ten parent and child parking spaces misused in the North West

New research found that more than two thirds (69%) of drivers in the North West have seen a parent and child parking space being used by someone without a child with them.

While, more than one in four (28%) drivers in the region have admitted themselves that they use parent and child parking spaces when they shouldn’t be – despite running the risk of receiving a penalty.

Meanwhile, across the UK, our investigation found one in four parent and child parking spaces were being misused. While, nearly a third (29%) of UK drivers admit to wrongly using a dedicated parent and child parking space, be it a parent travelling without their kids (21%), or non-parents taking advantage of the extra-wide parking bay (8%).

Top reasons for misusing a parent and child parking space

“It was late at night and I didn’t think there would be any parents around” – 32%

“There were plenty of parent and child parking spaces available” – 31%

“I couldn’t find another space” – 29%

“I was only using the space for a few minutes” – 25%

“I wanted to park close to the store” – 21%

“I am or was travelling with a Blue Badge holder and there weren’t any dedicated spaces available” – 14%

Over the past few months, car parks have been less busy than usual, and it seems this has attracted people to take advantage of parent and child bays.

In fact, more than one in eight (13%) culprits admit they’ve parked in one of these spaces during lockdown, with one in seven (14%) claiming they knew there was no one around to enforce the rules.

However, while people are knowingly misusing parent and child parking spaces, the research also highlighted a lot of confusion around the restriction of these bays.

One in seven (14%) drivers find the rules around parent and child parking confusing, while nearly one in 10 (8%) drivers are unsure about the rules in their local supermarket.

The misuse and confusion about parent and child parking bays are having a real impact on parents.

More than a third (38%) of parents of children under the age of 12 have been forced to leave a car park because they couldn’t find a suitable parking space.

But leaving isn’t always an option, and four in five (81%) parents have had to find a space elsewhere.

Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com, says: “Taking the kids shopping is a battle without the added stress of trying to find somewhere suitable to park.

“The rules are very clear: if you aren’t travelling with a child, don’t use the parent and child parking spaces, unless you have a very valid reason to.

“However, our research has proven that there are still many drivers who are confused about the rules."