BALLARAT parents have voiced their frustrations about motorists using car parks designated for those with children in prams.
Specially designed, extra-wide “parents with prams” parking spots are in place to make shopping easier for parents.
However, motorists without prams have been “stealing” these car parking spaces.
While these parks have been provided as a courtesy by the shopping centres, there are no council by-laws that dictate people face a fine if they park in these spaces.
Stockland Wendouree provides nine pram parking spaces and 21 disabled spots out of the 1252 parks and Coles in Victoria Street has five allocated parks for parents with prams.
Mum of two Kade Thiesz said shopping with children could be difficult.
“Going shopping with the kids is the worst, usually because there are no pram parks available which means I have to park in normal parks that are super close together so getting the kids out is a nightmare,” Ms Theisz said.
“I don’t use the pram parking spots if I don’t take the pram with me, in consideration to other parents, because both of my girls can now walk. However, when I go on longer shopping trips I do use a pram for my three-year-old and it’s then that I come across the problems with finding a pram park available.”
Ms Theisz believes it doesn’t matter where the pram parks are allocated and they might actually free up if situated further away from the shopping centre entrances.
“I don’t think it would matter how many parks are allocated as pram parks, people are still going to go park there because of the convenience of being close to the entrance,” she said.
“Parents use these parks not because they’re close, but because they’re wider.”
For mum Lisa Ryrie the closeness of the pram parks is important for her children’s wellbeing.
“I have two young children aged five and two-years-old and due to it being wet and cold lately everyone obviously wants a park close to the shopping centres which means there are never any pram parks available,” Ms Ryrie said.
“My family and I have to park miles away from the shops and having to walk in the rain means the kids get sick,” Ms Ryrie said.
Although, not all parents share the same opinion.
Vikki Broderick said pram parking did not exist when her children were young and she got by perfectly fine.
“It is a privilege and a courtesy, it’s not a right,” Ms Broderick said.
“Who is to say that their need for that car park is greater than mine? Just because they’ve got a child in the car doesn’t mean they’re more important.”