DUNCAN BARKES: Time to crack down on parking rogues

We Brits can be quite fierce when it comes to perceived ownership of space.

Monday, 19th August 2013, 12:00 pm

On a global scale it can be witnessed with the continuing squabble over Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands.

Closer to home it can be seen in your local supermarket car park.

The most recent casualty was a 64-year-old man who was punched by a pensioner following a dispute over a disabled parking space at an Asda supermarket in Bedfordshire. The punch killed him.

Police records shows there 
have been several reported 
assaults following rows over 
spaces in supermarket car parks in recent years.

Trying to park at the supermarket can be a fraught affair. Where I shop, people seem to lose the ability to drive the moment they enter the 
car park.

They also seem unable to read signs, judge distances or park in a straight line. A chimpanzee in a pedal car could do a better job.

I would wager that most of the reported assaults are over spaces designated for those in society who need a helping hand. In our increasingly-insular and selfish world, some take exception to those in need being catered for.

There is a breed of human (and breed is a justifiable word) that refuses to acknowledge that disabled or parent-and-child parking bays should be respected.

You see them squatting in such spaces, willing someone to challenge them. They do not always fit a stereotype. I have seen a fat woman without a disabled badge argue that she should be allowed to use one, as her need is greater than a mum with a newborn.

I’ve also witnessed a suited businessman who excused 
his behaviour by saying 
there were plenty of other disabled spaces available, and also a thug who swore at anyone who asked him to move.

Whilst vastly different in appearance, they all shared the same unpleasant and selfish attitude.

The same mindset sees people kicking off when someone parks outside their house. It seems to be a uniquely British trait.

In the case of supermarket car parks, the escalation of assaults makes 
it high time for tougher measures.

The supermarkets need to be enforcing their rules more effectively, without fear of causing upset or offence. The time has come to crack down on these imbeciles.

I would like to say many thanks to the great team of blokes at Kwik Fit in Chichester.

Last week I needed to take a relative to hospital for an operation, but an hour before departure I discovered I had 
a screw in my tyre, resulting 
in a slow puncture.

A mercy dash to Kwik-Fit saw the tyre replaced immediately and the sort of brilliant customer service you rarely experience these days.

Thanks, fellas. Many could learn from you.