Page last updated at 08:35 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Pregnancy parking bays discussed

A pregnant women
Do pregnant women need parking bays?

Heavily pregnant women could be allowed to park their cars in designated spaces in Wales, under proposals to be debated by assembly members.

Darren Millar, AM for Clwyd West, wants women to have the same rights as disabled blue badge holders during their last three months of pregnancy.

AMs will vote on whether the scheme - which would see women issued with pink badges - should go any further.

However some have called the scheme "unnecessary" for pregnant women.

Mr Millar said it could help women at an "uncomfortable time".

He has laid out the plans in a legislative competence order (LCO) - a Welsh 'law'.

'Temporary arrangement'

He said the idea came from his wife Rebekah's experiences when she was carrying their children seven and nine years ago.

She has described the idea as "fantastic".

Mr Millar believes passes could be issued by GPs or midwives.

He said: "I am delighted to have won the opportunity to bring this LCO proposal forward.

"Clearly while this is not is a major issue for everybody, it is something I feel strongly about.

Pregnant ladies are not disabled, they shouldn't really require extra treatment
Cerian Rolls, mother

"This would only be a temporary arrangement entitling women in their final three months of pregnancy to the same parking privileges as blue badge holders.

"It's just to try and help mums-to-be getting about with shopping or other children for example during what can be an uncomfortable time."

But some have criticised the scheme, with one mother saying the scheme was "unnecessary".

Cerian Rolls, from Aberdare in the Cynon Valley, is a mother-of-one and says more needs to be done to increase the numbers of disabled bays and parking facilities generally rather than accommodate pregnant women.

"Pregnant ladies are not disabled, they shouldn't really require extra treatment," she said.

"As lovely as the idea does seem, I really don't think it's necessary."

She said that many supermarkets already allow pregnant women to use their parent and toddler bays.

"I think that what needs to be looked at is actually addressing the parking facilities in town and villages, not just for pregnant people."

The proposed LCO needs a majority vote in the Senedd to proceed.

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