Supermarkets and local authorities urged to do more to protect vulnerable road users

Published 13 October 2021

Supermarkets and local authorities have been criticised for not doing enough to enforce disabled parking bays. 

Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK) surveyed 853 vulnerable motorists in August about their experiences over the past 12 months and the results show widespread misuse of disabled parking spaces across the country.

Supermarkets are heavily criticised in the report with more than half (56.5 per cent) of respondents saying they very often see disabled parking bays being abused at their local store. To make matters worse, nine out of 10 of disabled motorists said supermarket staff did nothing when told about the misuse of their parking spaces. 

DMUK says this is clear evidence that supermarkets are not doing enough to enforce their disabled parking bays and support their disabled customers. 

In response to the research, a spokesperson for Sainsbury's said: "We’ve found the vast majority of our customers are very considerate and respect our disabled parking bays. If our parking attendants find these bays are being misused they will, in the first instance, ask the driver to move their car.  If they refuse, they will be issued with a Parking Charge Notice.” 

Parked Cars 

The survey also asked people to provide details of the parking experiences on everyday journeys (not just to the supermarket). In response to these types of questions, 79.5 per cent of the respondents stated that it was either difficult or very difficult to find suitable disabled parking. 

The survey also revealed that 85.3 per cent of the respondents had never had their Blue Badge inspected by a parking official and 95.9 per cent of respondents accused local authorities of not doing enough to tackle disabled parking abuse.

DMUK CEO, Graham Footer, said: “The results show that the parking industry and local authorities still aren’t doing nearly enough to support disabled people.

"Accessibility begins in the car parks and disabled bay enforcement is a crucial part of allowing disabled people to live independent lives. DMUK urges everyone in the parking sector to take this issue seriously”


hissingsid    on 13 October 2021

I suspect that most supermarkets are more concerned about alienating and losing the custom of the selfish scum who abuse their disabled parking spaces than taking enforcement action.
Some supermarket car parks are supervised by outside contractors who may not take such a lenient attitude to this abuse.
Another widespread abuse at my local Morrisons is people parking on the double yellow lines outside the main entrance to use the cashpoint machines. Can they really be too lazy to find a parking space?

daveyjp    on 14 October 2021

Same record from this outfit, but as yet still no suggestions as to practical solutions, because there aren't any, micromanagement of parking is a none starter.

   on 14 October 2021

I tend to agree. I have reported vehicles owned by a number of companies (with photographic evidence) to the parent company in an attempt to shame them. Most of the companies have not even replied. The biggest problem is when these ignorant people prevent Blue Badge drivers parking. It can make it very difficult to manage the transfer of people in the car into, say a wheelchair when parking in a normal size space. I usually try to confront them when they return to their vehicle but the parking ignorance usually extends to their power of conversation. If they are particularly rude they earn an entry on sites such as “You Park Like a ....”

HMS Rodney    on 15 October 2021

I am a Disabled driver with a blue badge , I agree with these observations, the Government should Impose Heavy Fines for these offenders. Also i have seen people in cars with a Disability Badge Park up in a disabled space jump out of there cars and Scoot of with a couple of dogs no problems! Regards Rod Smith Leicestershire.

james04cooper    on 15 October 2021

Well sorry but in my experience there are way too many disabled parking places - most of the time they are empty - it's no wonder some people get fed up and park in them.

alan1302    on 19 October 2021

Well sorry but in my experience there are way too many disabled parking places - most of the time they are empty - it's no wonder some people get fed up and park in them.

Where are these places? Usually when the car park is busy then the disabled spots are full as well. Just because you are fed up does not give you a right to park in them either.

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