Parent-and-child parking bays are a bit of a flashpoint issue for many supermarket customers. There can’t be many mums of young children who haven’t felt like shouting – or crying! – when they see someone without a child nick one of those precious extra-wide spots. So how do we all feel about Asda’s decision to apologise for issuing a ticket to a heavily pregnant women for using a parent-and-child parking space, even though she didn’t have a child with her?
Asma Mohiuddin, 33, was 9 months pregnant with her 3rd child when she went to Asda in Beckton, east London with her husband Nadeed – but not their 2 children. The couple parked in a parent-and-child bay and, when they returned to their car, they found a penalty notice stuck on the windscreen. And they were furious.
“It’s mind-boggling that we would get this ticket,” Asma told the Daily Mail. “I was quite clearly carrying a child with me: whether she was under my arm or in my womb, it’s not up to Asda to make an arbitrary distinction.”
The couple’s baby, Aiza, was born just 14 days after the incident on 23 February. They appealed against the fine but, initially, Asda’s parking operator Smart Parking stuck to their decision. “As the driver was not accompanied by a child, the vehicle was parked in breach of the advertised terms and conditions,” they said. “We have no alternative but to uphold the Parking Charge Notice.”
It was only after their story was reported in a local newspaper that Asda intervened and issued the apology. “We would like to apologise to Mr and Mrs Mohiuddin for any inconvenience caused,” an Asda spokesperson said, “and we hope to speak to them very soon to resolve this matter.”
Nadeed says it’s a “national disgrace” that the conditions for using parent-and-child bays don’t extend to pregnant women. “On public transport, designated seats are provided for the disabled, expectant mothers, and parents with children – there’s no distinction between the three,” he said. “Someone needs to take the lead on this and set an example… We can be doing a lot more for pregnant women.”
What do you think? Do you agree with Nadeed that pregnant women should be allowed to park in parent-and-child parking bays, too? Or not? Please do let us know by adding a comment below!