Re: Also Parent and Child bays
Parent and child bays are really intended for babies in car seats. It's very hard to get a car seat out without opening the door as wide as it will go and many older car parks have a problem with that as cars are wider and bigger than they used to be. The extra space allows the door to be fully opened and the right trolley to be lined up next to it.
Disabled space provision is based on local planning requirements, but there should be a link into the proportion of the local population who are likely to need them.
Personally, as the dad of a wheelchair user, I think there need to be some specific wheelchair spaces. I understand that older people with mobility problems might legitimately need to park closer whereas I'm not much concerned about closeness, but I do need enough room to open the hatch, lower the ramp and wheel my kid out without mixing it with people trying to park. It can be a 5 - 10 minute job to deal with all the chair restraints and belts and things.
We usually now park in the less-used more distant car park at our shopping centre because all the spaces that we could use without bringing the car park to a halt for ten minutes are generally taken up by older people. My child's needs are different to their's.