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Italian city puts pregnant parkers in the pink

To support pregnant women an Italian city has introduced special parking spaces where they can park for free
The Italian city of Milan is giving pregnant women a helping hand by introducing free parking spaces.

The northern Italian city has established pink parking spaces outside 17 of the city's most visited hospitals and paediatric centres where pregnant women can park for free for 90 minutes.

To advertise the spaces a picture of a woman with a prominent bump painted on the pavement.

Giampaolo Landi di Chiavenna, the city's head of health, told the Times that "it is a little symbolic gesture".

The paper reports that it is one of several measures to encourage young women to have babies in a nation where the birth rate is falling and the population is aging.

In the town of Moretta near Turin, with a population of 4,000 people, the mayor has pledged to light up the main piazza every time a baby is born and decorate the city hall with a blue or pink ribbon for a week.

In the UK pregnant women are not always as celebrated or supported. In November last year seven-month pregnant Laura Howard parked for 30 minutes in a mother-and-toddler space to be closer to the entrance of a Tesco supermarket. She returned to her car to find a £90 fine.

The Daily Mail reports car park operator Safe Park's explanation was that pregnant women are not permitted to use these spaces because there wasn't a picture of a pregnant woman in the bay.

Tesco later apologised and offered to pay the fine.

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