Is it illegal to park in a parent-and-child parking space without a child? Using one without kids could soon see you hit with a £25 fine

When you’re in a rush to be in out and out of the supermarket as quick as possible it can be tempting to use a parent-and-child parking bay, but parking in one without kids could soon see you hit with an on-the-spot fine.

Thousands of Brits claimed they would be tempted to park in one of the bays if they were in as rush, with the spaces being abused by ‘lazy’ motorists, is it actually illegal to use them and could you really be hit with a fine? Here’s what you need to know about parking in family parking bays.

child spaces

Do you use a parent-and-child space without a child? Image credit: Wiki

Is it illegal to park in a parent-and-child bay without a child?

Although it’s not illegal to park in these spaces, the use of these bays in a privately-owned car park is a matter of contract law, created by signage in the car park.

Signs in car parks will state the terms in which certain bays may be used, such as restricting the use of certain bays to parents with young children and a charge that may apply for misuse.

Council traffic wardens have the authority to issue a fine to those who disobey the restrictions of any parking bays, as long as it’s in a council-run car park or on-street area – they do not have this authority on private land such as a supermarket car park.

If the car park is not council-run, you could still be given a fine if you’re in breach of the contract set out on the signs in the car park. The car park owner may employ a company to enforce these fines, whether it’s using cameras or a parking warden.

A crackdown has been called to give an on-the-spot fine of £25 to those misusing the family parking bays.

How old does my child need to be for me to use a parent-and-child parking space?

The rules are often quite vague when it comes to enforcing a maximum age of how old your child must be for you to justify using a parent-and-child parking bay.

A lot of stores have some kind of enforcement in place to fine people misusing the spaces, with many saying that children should be under the age of 12 if you want to use one of the bays.

Tell us in the comments what you think, should the age be lower and should motorists be fined for misuse of the spaces?

Can you use a parent-and-child bay if you’re pregnant with no other children?

Supermarket signs commonly only refer to having children to use these bays and never address the situation for those that are heavily pregnant.

The extra room and convenience that the spaces provide is often required by heavily pregnant women in the same way that those with young children need the extra space.

Some would assume that a pregnant woman is, not in the conventional sense, accompanied by a child and the answer ought to be yes but it is often not mentioned so causes a level of controversy.

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