Sainsbury’s has established a crack squad of car park attendants in a bid to stamp out the misuse of disabled and parent & child parking spaces in 400 of its supermarket car parks.

Some 18,000 bays will be checked by a squad of uniformed monitors on motorbikes in a blitz of unauthorised parking, which Sainsbury’s research shows is among the top five frustrations for its shoppers.

“The vast majority of those who shouldn’t be parking in these bays think that because they are just popping in for a few things they won’t cause any inconvenience to the people who really need them – but they do,” said Gavin Clarke, manager of Sainsbury’s car parks.

In a successful trial last year, £50 fines were issued to cars misusing the bays in 61 Sainsbury’s car parks within the M25. That reportedly led to a significant decrease in customer complaints, while bay availability improved by as much as 70% in three months.

All profits generated from the scheme – which began this week – will be donated to the charity Mencap.