11/08/2010 10:06 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

'Go Easy' On Pregnant Women Who Flout Parking Regs Says Transport Minister

Transport minister Norman Baker has said that council parking wardens and wheel clampers need to 'go easy' on pregnant women.

Speaking to Parking News magazine, Mr Baker suggested officials should show discretion when dealing with expect mums and not slap them with a fine for illegal or unauthorised parking: 'Allowing a heavily pregnant woman to park outside a shop for a few minutes is a sensible thing to do. It is a case of getting that balance right.

'Parking should not be seen as a cash cow, no matter how tempting that is in these difficult times.'

'I recognise that parking is a very important aspect of life, and that councils and private operators have a legitimate right to enforce parking measures,' he added, 'I would just urge them to do so with a soft touch and ensure they are using their powers to do the right thing.'

In June last year, a 28-year-old woman who was just days from giving birth, was fined £70 for using a 'mother and baby' space at retail park. Traffic wardens told her the unborn child could not be classed as a baby until it was born.

Is Mr Baker right?
Or should pregnant women come under the same parking rules and regulations as all other road users?