NEW research shows drivers in the West Midlands have been left confused or annoyed by people using parent and child parking bays when they do not have youngsters with them.
Almost 70 per cent of motorists in the region said they had witnessed someone wrongly using a parent and child space.
Culprits give a number of reasons for their actions including they wanted to be closer to the shop, they were only there for a few minutes, it was late and they did not think there would be parents and children around and there were plenty of other parent and child bays available.
Researchers monitoring supermarkets found in the West Midlands 14 per cent were being used by people with no children and that increased to 26 per cent nationwide.
As well as being close to shops, the bays are also wider so parents can get prams, pushchairs and children out of their vehicles without the fear of banging their doors and boots off other vehicles.
To understand the impact the issue can have on parents Confused.com, which carried out the research, has captured the frustration and struggles of having to park in a standard space in a short film.
Given the seriousness of some of the situations struggling parents have faced, many drivers out there who want to see culprits penalised.
More than one in five (22 per cent) feel drivers taking advantage of parent and child parking spaces should be fined.
Half the drivers quizzed said they felt the parent and children parking facilities in their local supermarket were inadequate with 27 per cent said they had left a car park because there were not any dedicated parking spaces at all in the car park.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “Parents face battles every day and trying to find parking at the local shop shouldn’t be one of them.
Although, given the number of people misusing parent and child parking spaces in the West Midlands, no doubt that parents in the region are left without a suitable place to park.
“What is clear is if you aren’t travelling with a child you shouldn’t be parking in the dedicated spaces and instead save these for the mums and dads out there who need the space.
“For us parents, knowing the point at which we should be giving up these spaces is quite confusing.
“How old is too old for our children to be using a dedicated space?”
The comparison site has consulted supermarkets and created a handy guide to parent and child parking.
Visit www.confused.com/car-insurance/parent-parking-problem/parent-parking-bay-rules to read the guide.