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Parent and toddler parking space means just that

A handful of posts in and already I’m developing a thing about parking.

This time it’s parent and toddler spaces. What exactly is the point of such spaces if they’re not enforced?

A visit to any of Lichfield’s main supermarkets – Morrisons, Co-op and, before the closure, Tesco – inevitably means a scramble for these ‘premium’ spaces.

There’s a myth amongst drivers that they’re unnecessary. After all, why do parents need extra wide spaces? Well, if you’ve ever tried squeezing a car seat complete with baby out of a half-foot gap then you’ll understand why.

But why do those in Lichfield find the need to ignore the big signs indicating that these spaces are there for just that reason? They wouldn’t park in a disabled bay, so why park in a family space?

It’s become something of a mini-campaign of mine. If ever I see a family-less driver in one of the spaces I tend to make a point of asking them whether they should be driving with eyesight so bad that they can’t see the sign.

If you’ve been berated by such a person, then there’s a very good chance it was me.

But it shouldn’t be down to the ‘little guy’ to enforce parking. Tesco were one of the worst culprits. Quite happy to scour the car park looking for people who have stayed longer than the permitted three hours, but not prepared to take action against those who park in bays they are not entitled to. So their signage claims that the three-hour limit was to preserve spaces for customers was clearly more to do with trying to slap a ticket/clamp on a car and raise revenue. After all, if it was about customers then they’d at least try to keep spaces free for families using their store.

But the other stores who don’t patrol have a duty to do so. At a time when they’re asking us to pay more and more for our weekly shop (with families spending more than most), is it too much to ask for the stores to provide adequate and enforced parking facilities?

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.


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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.


  1. Aphex666

    22nd January, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Woah you really do have a thing about parking. I agree about the situation now that Tesco has closed and it’s not going to get any better over the next 9 months. Maybe I should start walking more.

    On the parent child parking spots issue. I agree with you but only if we’re talking about peak hours say 7:00am – 9:00pm. I have parked in them myself when it is quiet and they are virtually all empty. I would never take one if it was the last one left for example. Does that make me a bad person? a hypocrite possibly but not bad.

  2. The Main Man

    22nd January, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks for being my first commenter and follower.

    I am indeed a parking Nazi! Yes, there probably is an argument for having timescales on such spots, but as someone who tends to shop at ‘normal-ish’ times, it’s a rarity you can get such a spot, hence my need to indulge in a spot of mild parking rage!!!