NHS Lanarkshire has warned it takes misuse of parent and child parking spaces at Wishaw General Hospital very seriously.
Last Thursday (June 29) a pregnant Motherwell mum attended the hospital, but was unable to park near the building as a white van had taken one of the parent and child spaces.
Nicola Brown, who is 20 weeks pregnant, had taken her four-year-old daughter with her for an ‘unexpected appointment’, but when she asked the van driver to vacate the space was met with a torrent of abuse.
She said: “When I arrived, this white van drove into the space, I got out and asked if he wouldn’t mind moving as I’m pregnant and had my four-year-old daughter with me.
“I couldn’t believe it when he started shouting and swearing at me, telling me he had a broken back and he wasn’t moving, if he did have a broken back he did well to be driving.
“He then marched off towards A&E and I was left to drive around for another five or ten minutes trying to find another space a fair distance away from the building.
“Of course it was absolutely pouring with rain on Thursday so my daughter and I were soaked by the time we finally reached the hospital building.”
Happily, everything is fine with the baby, but Nicola has asked that people show a little more courtesy.
She said: “We have parent and child spaces for a reason and I hope that most people would have the decency not to park in them if they don’t have a child with them.”
Although parent and child spaces are not legally enforceable the health board says it tries to ensure they are not misused.
Graham Johnston, NHS Lanarkshire head of planning, said: “In the interest of safety, we urge all car park users to be considerate of the spaces allocated for those with young children.
“Security staff regularly patrol the car parks and if anyone is identified as misusing these spaces they will be challenged and asked to move their vehicle.
“If the driver is not with the vehicle security staff will apply a sticker informing the driver that they are parked inappropriately.
“As it can be difficult to identify the driver’s circumstances for a parent and child space, members of the public can help by informing security if they witness someone misusing these parking spaces.”