One in five disabled parking bays misused at supermarkets

Published 04 August 2020

One in five disabled parking bays at supermarkets are used by drivers without a disability, according to the British Parking Association. 

Disabled Motoring UK, a charity that campaigns for disabled motorists, says that it's a common problem for many disabled motorists not being able to park at their desired destination, especially their local supermarket. The major complaint is that the disabled bays are all occupied with cars not displaying a Blue Badge.

Last year, DMUK said supermarkets lost £501 million every month due to not being accessible, 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 recently launched it's 2020 Baywatch campaign - surveying drivers about their experience using parking bays. The move seeks to challenge drivers who use disabled parking spaces without a Blue Badge.

Usually, DMUK asks individuals to physically go to a supermarket car park and count cars not displaying a Blue Badge which are parked in disabled bays. However, this year, the survey will run for the month of August without participants having to leave their home.

DMUK asks individuals to think back over the last 12 months to consider their general parking experience and asks them to answer some questions about this experience at supermarkets and on their everyday journeys.

The charity will use this data to tackle the supermarkets and other parking providers over their disabled parking policies. As a thank you for taking part there will also be an opportunity for one participant to win a £25 M&S voucher.

The survey is now live and can be accessed here.

A spokesperson for the British Parking Association said: "This campaign is a great way to raise awareness of the importance of only using disabled bays if you are a Blue Badge holder. We encourage as many people as possible to participate in the survey."


jchinuk    on 9 August 2020

I think we can add to that cars displaying a blue badge, but not being used by the blue badge holder.

ChromeMolly    on 10 August 2020

As part of my job, I used to check the badges of cars parked in my supermarkets disabled bays.
After getting a mouthful a few times, from the self entitled rich, dodgy builders and thuggish p****s, I looked into the legal side of it.
There is nothing to prevent anyone from parking in a supermarket disabled bay and fines are not enforceable.
At that point I stopped trying to do the right thing, as the law was not on my side and too many people just don't care.
There needs to be a blitz on these ignorant m****s, to make them a bit more considerate.

Terry W    on 10 August 2020

I don't condone the able using disabled bays for one moment.

But taken at face value the article is complete hogwash. Had supermarkets lost £500m in sales every month there would be a lot of very hungry disabled drivers.

The reality is that they left their chosen supermarket to find another that was more user friendly - perhaps with vacant disabled spaces, ramps and not kerbs etc.

TedTom    on 11 August 2020

Not everyone with a medical problem can get a disabled badge. Supermarkets should limit mother and toddler's bays and create comfort bays for the elderly, of many who have arthritis and other problems getting out of cars. You only need a mother and toddler bay if you have a child under 2. Not a 12 year old.

Carol Holloway    on 11 August 2020

I got fed up at My local Tesco's with people parking without a blue badge. If you say anything you just get a mouthful of abuse. One day I started taking down car numbers without badges to hand in to the girl on customer services. A woman came out of the shop and asked me what I was doing. I asked her what she thought I was doing. She said her father has a blue badge so I looked in the empty car and said 'invisible is he?' She said he wasn't there now, so I said she shouldn't be parking there then because people like me with a blue badge can't park near the door. She went ballistic and told me to 'Get a life' which I thought was funny because my car is a Honda Life. I told her I've got one.

Jean Kirby    on 11 August 2020

I once challenged a lady with a top-of-the-range Land Rover Discovery, who parked in a Tesco disabled bay without a badge.
Her offhand reply ? "Well I'm not going to park my lovely car in a normal bay. They're too narrow and my expensive car might get scratched !"

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