Supermarkets urged to enforce disabled parking bay rules

Published 31 May 2019

Supermarkets are not doing enough to enforce Blue Badge parking rules, according to a leading charity for disabled drivers and passengers.

Supermarkets lose £501 million every month due to not being accessible, according to Disabled Motoring UK, with 75 per cent of disabled people and their families saying they have been forced to leave at least once because of poor accessibility.

The charity has launched a national campaign - called Baywatch - to put pressure on supermarkets to improve the enforcement of their disabled parking spaces.

“It’s time that supermarkets took the needs of their disabled customers seriously and that starts in their car parks..."

The charity is asking members of the public to survey their local supermarket car park over the month of June. The survey asks people to count how many disabled bays are provided and how many cars that are parked in them without displaying a Blue Badge.

The charity also wants to know the details of the type of enforcement (if any) carried out by the parking operator responsible for the car park (usually displayed on the signage near the disabled bays).

New rules around Blue Badges are being introduced on 30 August 2019 and will see people with hidden disabilities being given the right to park in disabled spaces. These include those with mental health conditions and autism, for whom parking in a busy environment can cause an overwhelming amount of stress.

Heidi Turner, communications and campaigns director at Disabled Motoring UK, said: “It’s time that supermarkets took the needs of their disabled customers seriously and that starts in their car parks.

"This campaign relies on public participation and we hope their support will encourage others to get involved.”


Captain-Cretin    on 31 May 2019

Every Sunday morning all or most of the Disabled bays at my local Lidl are blocked by inconsiderate people in their SUVs, Mercs, pickups or vans; forcing the disabled drivers to park in the Mother and Toddler spaces. Saturdays are pretty bad as well.

Edited by Avant on 04/06/2019 at 13:06

hissingsid    on 1 June 2019

Another everyday problem at my local Morrisons is cars parked on the double yellow lines outside the store entrance while their drivers, too lazy to find a proper parking space and walk a few yards, use the cash machines.

Captain-Cretin    on 3 June 2019

They do that here as well, and not just at the supermarkets.

Saw a Transit parks in the middle of a pedestrian crossing (blocking the dropped curb), so the driver and his mate could walk the minimum possible distance to the take away pizza shop.

The nearest free parking space being a terribly long way away - it would have added nearly TWENTY FEET to their journey.

daveyjp    on 1 June 2019

There is no requirement to display a blue badge in a supermarket car park disabled bay, so the whole exercise is completely flawed.

They are provided for anyone who identifies themselves as disabled and meets the test under the Equality Act.

Edited by daveyjp on 01/06/2019 at 11:24

Regent2288    on 3 June 2019

I'm, sure it is a condition for preferential parking to display the Blue Badge...its usually display notice ..BLUE BADGE ..Must Be shown ...

Arthur Munday    on 3 June 2019

Other problems I see, when taking my elderly (91 yr old) mother shopping is that many seemingly fit and able people park in a disabled space and leave the elderly disabled badge owner in the car. This not not supposed to be allowed, according to the blue badge rules. Other times the blue badge holder may be driving and take up the space and let a passenger out to do the shopping, they don't need to hog a space in that case. I think daveyjp is correct in that 'the whole exercise is completely flawed', I'd go further and say the whole blue badge system is flawed, with even a postcode lottery of whether you qualify or not. And I do realise that many disabilities are not visible and I'm not in any way critical of people that have a legitimate need for a badge, but those that have one should still follow the rules.

Edited by Arthur Munday on 03/06/2019 at 16:21

Sue2222    on 4 June 2019

How can you tell if someone is seemingly fit ? Many illnesses are invisible , such as Multiple Sclerosis , Arthritis, ME, Heart Disease, Angina to name a few .
It is no good the public policing the disable bays , we do not have the powers or abilities to do judge who is disabled as pain and many disabilities are invisible . If the are named on the badge that should be proof unless the supermarket suspect otherwise.

Whitmarsh1    on 3 June 2019

It's not just disabled bays, it applies equally to bays for charging electric cars.

retired surveyor    on 3 June 2019

I worked in a supermarket car and had to enforce this. One problem is the amount of people who abuse the system by parking using the blue badge. To use it you must picking up or droping of the disabled person the badge belongs to. Some people don't have the disable person with them. Don't think because the person using the space does not look disabled that they are not. Some people I have known are just having a good day.

Vivien Barber    on 3 June 2019

I regularly use my local Leisure Centre, and believe that spaces are used correctly and also monitored by the parking enforcers. However, I will watch that for the month [don't use a supermarket car park].

   on 3 June 2019

ALL car park operators need to police their disabled bays. I am sick and tired of not being able to park in a bay to which I have the right to use, just because some inconsiderate m**** thinks that they are more important!

GingerTom    on 4 June 2019

The 'hidden disability' is a ridiculous argument because this assumes that the roads they used to get there were not busy and the supermarket they are shopping in is not busy. If they can cope with all that I am sure they can cope with a bit of parking.

The fact is the spaces were designed for people who cannot walk very far and everyone else can park in the normal spaces. In practice we see almost everyone who gets out of the vehicles walk perfectly normally....

popeye3    on 4 June 2019

This is a problem everywhere and it will only get worse. Blue badge ownership has almost become a prized commodity and something of a right to certain types of people, regardless of having a disability or not. The amount of blue badges being issued is getting out of hand as authorities seem scared to challenge applications. Yes there are very deserving people, with either visible or
non visible disabilites. However there are huge numbers who quite simply shouldn't have a badge.
One of the key requirements for a badge is the persons ability to walk a certain distance. A distance that is actually quite short. Yet you see many people parking at shopping centres, supermarkets, etc that can then go off shopping for many hours without any problem. I have even witnessed a couple of people using one to park in the golf club, before playing a round of golf on foot!

ashley thompson    on 5 June 2019

The current Blue Badge system is flawed. It is unenforceable and/so nobody attempts to enforce it. If it were somehow tied to a vehicle rather than a person (extremely difficult, otherwise surely they would have done it by now) at least it could be monitored by ANPR.

Incidentally, I was astonished that my wife was successfully able to apply for one for her mother without any kind of doctor's or hospital letter.

People who don't display the badge are clearly in the wrong but I'm more concerned about the many who have a fake or bought badge, or a genuine badge but the person to whom it was issued is/was not in the vehicle.

In the disabled bays in one of my local supermarkets there's always a significant number of high-end nearly new vehicles. Maybe the disabled folk around these parts are particularly well off (and why wouldn't they be ?) or maybe those that can afford expensive new vehicles are the people who can afford to buy the fake Blue Badges.

B*ggers' muddle, which needs sorting out.

Gordon Dunbar    on 6 June 2019

At my local Aldi the securicor van is regularly parked in 1 or sometimes 2 disabled bays when we go shopping so we can't get into the blue badge bays.

conman    on 12 June 2019

Disabled parking is about that and adding people that can walk whether mental issues or cancer patients, I understand you may be ill, but if you can walk a certain should not be entitled to a blue badge. All this MP is doing is making it harder for people that genuinely have serious walking problems from getting a disabled parking space, so have to walk f***her. Vehicles that have drivers sitting them in the disabled parking bays, could have dropped off the person and then parked in a normal bay, then picked the disabled person up when they have finished shopping, no need to block a disabled bay.

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