29 July, 2002
Nearly a quarter of disabled parking bays in a survey of supermarkets were being used by people without disabled badges.
Baywatch parking campaign volunteers, who carried out the survey, also found no vacant disabled bays in nearly 40 per cent of the stores.
They carried out spot checks on 276 Asda, Safeway, Sainsbury's and Tesco stores on Saturday, 29 June, as part of the campaign to clamp down on abuse of disabled parking spaces.
But when told a bay was being misused, the response of staff in nearly 70 per cent of the stores was described as either excellent, good or fair.
Mary Wilkinson, editor of Disability Now newspaper, a Baywatch member, said: "It seems there have been some improvements, but there shouldn't be any abuse at all.
"Every time the bays are full, a disabled person is effectively being banned from shopping."
The supermarkets welcomed the survey. Asda said the figures were "not ideal" and it was aiming for 100 per cent compliance. Safeway was "concerned" by the figures, but wanted to analyse them in more detail.
Sainsbury's was "encouraged" by some of the results, and Tesco said there were "some disappointing results", but it was seeking clarification of some of the figures.
At a "positive" meeting with Department of Transport officials in June,
Baywatch members agreed to produce a pilot project to test ways of cutting
abuse of supermarket parking bays, which could be put to ministers for
© Copyright 2002, Yourable