A couple of years ago, I read a reader’s letter in the Guardian from someone complaining about parent and baby parking spaces at the town’s supermarkets.

I thought at the time that the writer of the letter was just being a bit of a moaner but I think perhaps I have changed my mind now.

Any right-thinking person should have no problem with disabled parking spots being wider than normal spaces and close to the door of shops.

But my recent shopping experiences have made me reconsider parent and child spots.

My household has reached that pre-Christmas shopping period where numerous trips to a variety of supermarkets have to be made to pick up those ‘essential’ festive season supplies.

Going off on something of a tangent here, why is it possible to get all our groceries from one supermarket the rest of the year but as soon as Christmas comes round, our normal source of provisions just won’t do? And just out of interest, what, exactly, is/are angostura bitters and why do we have to buy them at Christmas?

Anyway, back to parent and child parking bays. On one of my numerous visits to a well known supermarket in Northwich, I was struck by two things.

The first was the sight of an elderly couple struggling to push their fully-laden trolley to the far end of the busy car park. They obviously weren’t disabled and therefore didn’t qualify for a blue badge to park in one of the spots close to the doors.

They seemed to be having real difficulty but nevertheless politely turned down my offer of help and soldiered on.

Yet on the same shopping trip, I also witnessed a car pull up into a parent and child parking spot, situated handily close to the store.

Needless to say, out stepped a youngish couple and their two children, a boy of about 13 and a girl of about 11. I know appearances can be deceptive but they all looked fit and healthy and hardly in need of special treatment.

This just didn’t seem right to me. Surely our old folk deserve better treatment than this.

I am a parent – although my children are now grown up – and I well remember the hassle of a trip to the shops complete with buggy and all the paraphernalia having a youngster entails.

I also know that getting a buggy out of a car can be a bit of a nightmare and having special, extra-wide parking bays to allow this to be done safely and calmly can be a real boon.

The last thing you want to happen is to return to your car and find a big dent in your door where an over-enthusiastic toddler with limited spatial awareness has slammed open his door into yours.

But why do these parent-and-baby space have to be so close to the store itself?

The last time I checked, parenthood isn’t an illness or condition. For most people, it is a lifestyle choice.

Wouldn’t it be better to move the parent and baby spaces to a quiet corner of supermarket car parks, away from traffic, and give parents the chance to sort themselves out before launching their assault on the aisles?

I well remember those days many years ago when sorting out my children prior to going into any shop was akin to herding cats and being able to do that in a safe, secluded environment would have been a real boon.

And wouldn’t it be a sensible thing to make the parent and baby parking spaces parent, buggy and baby parking spaces?

That way, hopefully, we could do away with fit, healthy, young people getting a needless advantage over our older folk as I witnessed just this week.

In an ideal world, I would even go so far as to advocate having ‘pensioner-only’ parking spaces although quite how you could go about policing this escapes me, given that supermarkets don’t seem to police their current parking policies.

I suppose this all comes down to individual conscience and your personal view of the world.

I don’t suppose you can legislate for the selfish among us.

As ever, this is just a personal view and I would be quite happy to be persuaded otherwise.