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DMUK’s campaign Baywatch changed its format for 2020

A common problem for many disabled motorists is not being able to park at their desired destination, especially at their local supermarket.

This campaign researches the level of disabled parking abuse at supermarkets, by asking disabled motorists to survey their local supermarket car park. Specifically, they count how many disabled bays are provided and how many cars that are parked in them without displaying a Blue Badge. The other information we ask for is details of the type of enforcement (if any) carried out by the parking operator responsible for the car park. Details of the operator and enforcement should be displayed on the signage near the disabled bays.

The 2019 campaign had record numbers of participants. However, this was before the world was swamped by the Coronavirus pandemic. DMUK decided that it was not appropriate to ask individuals to physically go to a supermarket car park and count cars not displaying a Blue Badge which are parked in disabled bays. Instead they ran a  survey for the month of August 2020 which participants could complete without leaving their home. DMUK ask edindividuals to think back over the last 12 months to consider their general parking experience and ask them to answer some questions about this experience at supermarkets and on their everyday journeys. .

We hope that in August 2021 to have this pandemic long behind us and run our usual Baywatch Campaign.

The campaign has support from Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, she commented: “It’s so sad that Disabled Motoring UK has to run its Baywatch Campaign. Disabled bay enforcement should be mandatory, especially for the big supermarkets that can afford to invest in policing their car parks. I see disabled parking abuse every day, it’s never a surprise to me, including at my local supermarket. There is a real lack of understanding about how essential these bays are to disabled people and I applaud DMUK’s Baywatch Campaign as it plays a vital role in highlighting the issue of disabled parking abuse at supermarkets.”

Heidi Turner, Communications and Campaigns Director at DMUK, said: “Baywatch is one of the charity’s longest running campaigns and is really important to draw attention to the parking problems that disabled people face when just trying to do their everyday grocery shopping. The charity has decided to change the format of Baywatch this year in order to keep our supporters safe. Nevertheless the new survey will provide us with some really useful data to keep the pressure on the supermarkets to do more to manage their disabled parking bays properly. Disabled motorists face parking problems in all aspects of their life and the new survey will also encompass some more general parking questions which will expand the scope of the DMUK Baywatch Campaign.”

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