29 Sep 2016
New scheme to protect disabled parking and improve our customers' shopping experience.
The subject of living with disability is close to my heart. My parents were teachers in a school for children with special educational needs. I got to know the students, their loved ones and learnt about living with a disability. When I joined Car Park Operations, I was excited to help launch a scheme that will make a huge difference for our disabled customers.
The new self-monitoring scheme allows stores to better control their car park, to help protect the disabled bays. Selected stores have been given a monitoring device, which enables them to issue parking charge notices (PCN) to people misusing these spaces. This makes parking at Tesco fairer for everyone. We want to change attitudes towards the misuse of disabled bays by highlighting the importance of disabled bays being used properly. I hope the scheme will help our disabled customers shop with ease in our stores.
I spoke to British Paratrooper Jordan Beecher who shops at our Finchley store. In 2012, while on his third operational tour of Afghanistan, he stepped on an improvised explosive device which claimed his left leg. Jordan told me it was imperative that he had access to disabled parking as he adjusted to his new circumstances:
“I'm delighted to hear that Tesco are doing something to raise awareness of the importance of disabled parking bays. This will definitely support others in a similar position.”
We take this issue seriously and ask that customers display a blue badge if they're parking in a disabled bay. We'll continue to look at ways to prevent misuse of these essential spaces for our disabled customers. Disabled parking is an important part of the customer experience that is sometimes overlooked. I'm trying to change that. I'm delighted that the scheme is already making a difference for our disabled customers.
Operations Manager Chris Preece is impressed with how the scheme has benefitted the stores:
“The self-monitoring scheme has been a revelation for our store in Taunton High Street. As the only free car park in the town centre, protecting our disabled bays has been a constant battle. The trial is an instant success. In fact, just having the new signage in our car park made an immediate impact. We've received nothing but positive feedback from our customers in Taunton. Similar praise has come from customers across our other stores.”
Many customers live with a disability. We're working hard to put the needs of these customers first in our stores. We hope to roll this initiative out to the whole Tesco estate in the near future.