The Disabled Motoring UK (DMU) Baywatch Campaign has once again scoured the country and monitored the level of disabled parking in the nation's supermarkets. Publishing their results following a record breaking 723 responses from member of the public, they show a shocking level of abuse that see no sign of stopping.
The average number of bays provided in Supermarket car parks is 15, with on average 3 of them being occupied by someone that doesn't require them at any one time. So shockingly 1 in every five bays at nine different supermarkets is being falsely held by someone without a Blue Badge.
Only 60% of the supermarkets had visible signage or enforcement rules and regulations. Of the supermarkets displaying signage 16% of their bays were being abused, whereas of the 40% that had no signage 36% of their bays were taken up by cars that shouldn't be there.
“Disabled parking is under immense pressure to meet the demand for it, and if supermarkets enforced their disabled bays properly, they could increase the volume of available disabled parking by 20%. It is time that the supermarkets take this issue seriously and support their disabled customers" - Heidi Turner, Communications and Campaigns Director at DMUK.
Enforcement of parking abuse works when it is in place, more than halving offence rates. Even clearly displayed signs aids in highlighting offenders and putting some shame on those that take away spaces from those that need them. All the supermarkets are aware of the results, and there is hope that things will improve - however many have not shifted from 2017.
On summarising the results, Disabled Living have urged their readers to think about where they spend their money to fuel change. The spending power of the disabled community is enormous, estimates point to loss of revenue of around £501million each month because supermarkets are not accessible. The message from them is to shop elsewhere if you experience issues, and don't be afraid to let the company know.
Mark Bates Ltd