PARKING in a parent and child spot down at the local supermarket will soon draw a £95 fine.

Or rather, it will for those who do so while not equipped with a child.

Wardens will be given the power to add £25 to the standard £70 for drivers who break the rules.

Quite right too, I say.

When a person has a small child, they need the slightly bigger space to help them wrestle with car seats and whatnot as they transfer kid to trolley and back again.

The last thing they want is to find all the spaces occupied by selfish people with no children - or people who are technically with their children but the young folk in question look old enough to have cars of their own.

If the newly beefed-up fines do the trick, perhaps a similar approach should be taken toward certain other people whose conduct at supermarkets could do with a little adjustment.

We should start with the ones who always seem to be ahead of me in the queue at the checkout, the ones for whom a request to hand over some money in exchange for their purchases seems to come as a completely unexpected bolt from the blue.

There they stand, looking for all the world like normal human beings, watching the checking-out process as it unfolds all around them.

I find myself wondering how they fail to notice that this process always ends with a request for money from the person at the register, and that many of their fellow shoppers, anticipating the request, already have their cards or cash in their hand or some readily-accessible pocket.

What do they say to themselves, these people, before leaving the house?

“Well, I’m about to do a bit of shopping, so I’d better make sure my debit card, my credit card and every last banknote and coin I have are safely stowed in some obscure pocket, or else the farthest most inaccessible reaches of a wallet or bag. It’s not as if I’ll be needing them for anything, is it?

“Oh, and while I’m at it I’d better make sure I don’t bring enough bags but nevertheless refuse to buy any more while I’m there, even though the great big ones only cost 10p apiece.

“No, I’d much prefer to spend a good half-hour packing and repacking the bags I’ve brought while the queue behind me grows all the way along the aisle to the cold meat counter at the back.

“And of course, while shopping I should also make sure to hunt through the thousands of items on offer and choose only the ones whose barcodes have fallen off, so some unfortunate member of staff eventually has to go scuttling all over the shop to find out how much my purchases cost.

“For added enjoyment, and to enhance the shopping experience of those around me, I should perhaps take along a companion with an approach similar to mine.

“Then we can block an aisle as we stand together and gaze for ages at a shelf containing some common-or-garden items – various brands of baked beans or spaghetti hoops, for example – and discuss their relative merits as if we were philosophers or theologians debating the fundamental truths of human existence.”

On reflection, however, I think fining such people might end up being bad for supermarket revenues and, ultimately, the economy.

After all, there must be loads of people like that or else there wouldn’t always seem to be one in front of me in the queue, no matter which queue I choose.

Perhaps it would be better just to fine me until I promise to do all my shopping online.

That would at least reduce the risk of my snapping and running amok with a bag of crusty rolls.