MPs urge supermarkets to fine errant parkers for charity

Three MPs have tabled an early day motion calling on all supermarkets to fine drivers who park in their designated disabled and parents' parking bays, and to donate the money raised to charity.

Asda announced earlier this month that it planned to levy £60 fines on drivers who misused the disabled and parent-and-child parking bays in its car parks. All profits generated by the scheme will be donated to baby charity Tommy’s and disabled mobility charity Motability.

Now former Conservative minister Peter Bottomley has joined Liberal Democrat MPs Paul Rowen and Bob Russell to call on other supermarkets to follow Asda’s lead.

The early day motion, submitted last Thursday, reads: “This House recognises that parents of young children and disabled people gain tremendous benefit from more generously sized parking bays; disapproves of the selfish use of these special parking bays by people who do not need them; encourages other supermarkets to follow suit and suggests that supermarkets consider making parking bays in future developments larger to benefit all their customers.”

An Asda spokeswoman said she was not sure how much the scheme would raise for the two charities. She said a three-month trial at six stores in the Liverpool area last autumn had seen only 100 fines issued, which was equivalent to just one per store per week. If that rate of issuing continued across Asda’s 342 stores nationwide, it would yield just over £1m per year.

The spokeswoman said the supermarket would be trying hard not to levy the fines and would resort to them only for repeat offenders or for people who refused requests to park elsewhere.

Jane Brewin, chief executive of Tommy’s, said Asda was setting a good example. She said: “Putting fines in place for parking misuse is a bold move by Asda but is the right one.”

Hazek Gotfraind, fundraising and marketing director at Motability, also welcomed the move. She said: “With the help of companies like Asda, we can help to keep many more people independently mobile, something many of us take for granted.”

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