I was a child when I first came across Parent and Child parking spaces. They were introduced into my life at the Safeway at Newlands (now a Morrison’s) and I distinctly remember them being developed because a) I was a keen observer and b) I liked drawing road maps and car parks. The idea of a space that gives a parent more space to get their kids out of a car is one that I just didn’t pay too much attention to when I was a single bachelor man . I mean, I NEVER parked in them, of course, but they were something for “other” people to use - y'know, parents. I didn’t even give them a second’s though, except keeping away from them.
When Joni came along the world was opened to them. I was suddenly able to park in them with Joni and Con in tow, with the pram and car seat, and it was clear that the space afforded (and the convenience of them being close to the front door) was a serious advantage. There was very few instances of them being taken by people not with children in my experience in Glasgow, and most of the time the weak enforcement of the spaces was done almost out of courtesy. I did ask a few people why they parked there when I saw them flaunting the rules (strangely most of the time at a local Tesco) but most of the time the rules are adhered to.
Not in Cumbria.
There seems to be a certain level of lawlessness when it comes to car parking in this county, and anecdotally I guess this country, because almost every time I go to a car park there are no parent and child spaces. This isn’t an exaggeration either – there is one Asda where I think I’ve parked in one maybe five times since moving here eight months ago. There are certain reasons that a bigger parking space is important to me with Joni, and some should be obvious – I need more space to get her out, and the doors need to be opened fully, and sometimes in spaces that just isn’t possible. Then there is the pram which needs sited next to the door, and it takes up space. If we are just putting her in a trolley it too needs the extra space.
But there are a few other things that people might not realise – it being close to the door is good for new borns because they need to stay warm and dry. It isn’t rocket science, yet the flaunting of these spaces is just typical of the car parks here. It isn’t to do with the design of the car parks either – I would say that they are terrible (because most of them totally are) but that’d upset a close family member who had a direct hand in engineering them, and I don’t want to upset them.
This lawlessness doesn’t just cover the parent and child spaces either. I know that those spaces are “soft”, and certainly not legally enforceable at all, but even the disabled spaces are taken by people without blue badges. The blue badge parking at the aforementioned Asda is full each day of young and old people of all demographics parking there for ease of access to the shop. It leaves disabled drivers no choice but to park miles away where they do have the space for their ramps and chairs, meaning an even longer walk. It is absolutely abysmal, and I’m not exaggerating it at all.
It returns to a thing that I’ve mentioned before on here; there is just a lot of people in this part of the world who aren’t very nice. They’re arrogant and feel like they are hard done by and that they deserve better treatment to others, and they are the only ones that this applies to. These tussles with car parking are just one obvious manifestation of them. None of the people I speak to in work or are friendly with are like this, but there are enough out there to really irk me.