Press Centre

Asda gets tough on parking space abuse

Today [25 September 2007] ASDA announced it was trialing a tough new approach to tackling the abuse of disabled and parent and child parking bays.

ASDA is the first UK business to trial imposition of a £60 fine on people parking in a disabled bay without displaying a blue badge. The trial also extends to those using parent and child parking spaces without being accompanied by young children.

Regular patrols by Town and City Parking attendants are taking place in six? ASDA stores on Merseyside over the next year in an attempt to eradicate, once and for all, this perennial problem.

Town and City Parking attendants will monitor ASDA car parks, write up fixed penalty notices and dispatch them to the owners of any vehicle that’s parked where it shouldn’t be.

ASDA are not aiming to catch out unsuspecting motorists, rather, they hope the scheme will act as a deterrent. With that in mind, stores will display bold posters warning customers that the scheme is in operation.

The tough new approach follows exhaustive attempts by ASDA to tackle the problem constructively in the past. This has included award-winning schemes to dissuade customers to not abuse these bays such as …

- Car Park Hosts – politely reminding people not to park in specialist spaces,
- Leafleting Cars – pamphlets on windscreens of cars wrongly parked in a disabled bay,
- Space Hog – loudspeaker messages played automatically when a car enters a disabled bay reminding the motorist it is reserved for people with a disability,
- ASDA Baywatch – an awareness building campaign to encourage people not to abuse the spaces via posters and leaflets,
- Space re-painting – all disabled car park spaces painted blue making them clearly visible to both disabled and non-disabled drivers.

“By using these bays without good reason, the actions of the few have a huge impact on many,” said Paul Hedley, ASDA’s Customer Service Manager. “Most of us are guilty of taking our able-bodied status for granted. That means many of us simply don’t realise just how hard crossing a car park with shopping can be if walking is a real struggle. Similarly, those of us who aren’t parents are often surprised to learn that, without wide parking spaces, it’s almost impossible to remove a baby’s car seat from a car.”

“We think it’s now time to back up our commitment to keep these specialised parking spaces available to customers who need them most.” he continued. “We hope that where persuasion has failed to change behaviour the threat of a fine might succeed and that some day soon schemes like this will be unnecessary.”

Further information: Rachel Fellows, ASDA Press Office, 0113 241 8857
Out of hours, 0113 243 5435

Posted in Press Centre on 25 September 2007