Sunday, 31 January 2010

Parking at Supermarkets & Motorway Service Areas. Are The Government Breaking the Law?

There was an item on the news this evening concerning parking in supermarket car parks. It seems that there is two hour free parking. To enforce this rule private parking companies are used. This can mean clamping with outrageous charges, if your the motorist, to get unclamped. The clamping companies of course thing their charges are fair. Now various charities are saying this blanket two hour rule is discriminating against disabled people who might need more than two hours to do their shopping and is therefore against the law. A spokesperson for the charity Disability Alliance said “Supermarkets need to acknowledge there is a problem, and secondly, very quickly they need to ensure their car parking procedures conform with the law.

This got me thinking about motorway service areas. I use them a lot more than supermarket cat parks. They too have notices stating that after two free hours parking there will be charges. So I emailed Johnny at motorway services online and asked was this going to be an issue for service areas as well as supermarkets. He emailed me back saying the rules for service station parking came under the jurisdiction of the HighwaysAgency, a government body. They say all MSAs must provide free parking for a minimum of 2 hours. There have been complains to the Agency that this is not long enough for some disabled people but the Agency say the two hour rule is there for a good reason and the weren’t planning to change it.

If the supermarkets are breaking the law with their two hour rule then the government are also breaking the law by not making MSAs allow disabled people to park for longer than two hours. Not good when governments break the law. People have gone to war when that happens.


Anonymous said...

Have a look at, specifically the 'parking forum', then ask yourself if the government (small 'g' ;) ) is breaking the law.

retired driver Peter said...

I was with my brother (who is disabled) in the New Forest area and the only concession for disabled people on the Council owned car parks were for ratepayers of the particular area. My brother having a blue badge issued by a midlands authority had to pay. Is this another anomoly which needs sorting?
Whilst I know the area I could not say which local Council area we were in

Anonymous said...

Hello All

Those of you who know me will be aware that I am a Chair user and get around when I can.

My 91 year old Mother has to now be escorted by a Care agecy worker because of heart problems.

We have made contact with the Supermarket Management and at present have nil problems. My Mother does not have a Blue Badge.

bouncertqy said...

I hope my comment will be here soon

bouncertqy said...

May I apologise for spelling errors in my main contribution

retired driver Peter said...

'anonymous' says that his mother does not have a blue badge, sureley if she requires a care worker to accompany her there is an entitlement to such a document. Have you 'anonymous' contacted your local council to enquire into this asthere are many other occasions (doctors,hospitals etc) when this would lead not necessarily to free parking but more convenient spots for someone who has not the ability to walk very far.

bouncertqy said...

Dear Retired Driver Peter

Thank you so much for the above response.

I am the 'anonymous' writer (bouncertqy) before I could get registered for the site.

Social Sevices know all detail about Mother but the problem is finding a Photo Booth that works.
So far she has made "Three" attempts without success!

My warmest thanks for your concern.

retired driver Peter said...

Good afternoon Bouncertqy, Thank you for your note and here is a quick reply before I go out with my brother for a Sunday lunch time pint.
In this area it is possible to get a passport style photo taken at the local hospital (for a small charge) and there are also a number of shops mainly chemists and a couple of dry cleaners who advertise that they take Polaroid passport photos. It is perhaps worth exploring this possibility in your area maybe the internet would help to find them.

retired driver Peter said...

P.S.for Bouncertqy THe hospital utilises the facility that is installled for their staff ID cards and is I presume money used to offst these costs. The equipment is Polaroid as in the retailers and the charge for $ photos is the same. I am told that some local authorities will provide a similar service or at the offices where bus passes are issued.good luck in your search