A new parent-led campaign is lobbying for the official introduction of safer parking spaces for parent and children, after a report found that four in five (90%) parents have put themselves or their children at risk while getting in or out of their car.

The campaign group wants the government to make a recommendation on the number of parent and child spaces that must be available in car parks.

Campaigning for safer parking spaces

The ‘Give Me Space’ campaign was created after one mum became frustrated with the lack of safe parking spaces for families with young children.

Lisa Roberts, a business owner and mum of two conducted a study of 2,000 parents. It revealed that 90 percent of parents and caregivers feel that current parking allocations are inadequate.

The study also that 90 percent of parents, caregivers and their children had been put at risk due to the lack of parent and child spaces available in privately owned car parks such as supermarkets and leisure centres. Shockingly, over half of all pregnant respondents (52%) claim to have been forced to apply excessive pressure on their unborn child when trying to get back into their vehicle.

safer parking spaces

Eighty-three percent of the parents and caregivers that took part in the study said they would back the campaign to ask government to introduce new recommendations on parent and child spaces, such as those set out for disabled parking spaces.

Lisa Roberts, leader of the Give Me Space campaign comments: “In the UK there are 1.2 million public parking spaces, of which a percentage are rightly allocated to disabled drivers (37,000). This allocation is based on a recommendation set out by the Department for Transport, based on the Equality Act 2010 – (approximately 4%).  The recommendation stipulates the location and dimensions of the spaces to best benefit their users.

“Currently, there is no official recommendation set out by government for parent and child spaces, forcing millions of parents to put their children, including unborn children, at risk. This is what the Give Me Space campaign hopes to change.”

Suzie Hayman, Trustee of charity Family Lives supports the parent-led campaign; she comments: “Ambiguity around parent and child parking spaces is a real issue, with some families receiving unnecessary and often difficult to afford fines as a result.

“Safety is the most important issue, and the Give Me Space campaign is designed to ask government to introduce clear guidelines that will keep families safer, by way of more suitable provisions for the people that need them most.”

Preventing misuse of parent and child bays

The Give Me Space study asked parents how they thought car park owners could best deter misuse of spaces set aside for people with young children:

  • 67% said cash fines should be issued
  • 45% thought clearer signage would make a difference
  • 31% want to name and shame offenders
  • 22% would like an alarm that sounds if a bay is misused

Petition and White Paper

safer parking spacesThe Give Me Space online petition can be found at www.change.org.

Parents and caregivers can also get involved by visiting the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels. Real life evidence and experiences can be shared by using the campaign hashtag #givemespace.

The Give Me Space campaign will present a ‘White Paper’ to Government featuring case studies of unsafe parking scenarios, requirements of the spaces, and suggested age limits and misuse deterrents.

A free car sticker pack asking other drivers to ‘Give Me Space’ is available at www.givemespace.net.