Lilian Greenwood MP says “it’s the end of the road for unsafe pavement parking”
Lilian Greenwood MP attended a Guide Dogs event at the House of Commons on 3 July to show their support for the campaign to end problem pavement parking.
At the event, the MP for Nottingham South heard from guide dog owners how parked cars blocking the pavement force them to walk in the road, into the path of traffic they cannot see. They heard that some guide dog owners face these dangerous situations on a daily basis, risking their safety every time they go shopping or make the school run.
Research by YouGov for the charity Guide Dogs shows that 54% of UK drivers admit to parking on the pavement, with more than a quarter (29%) of those doing so a few times a month or more. More than half (55%) of these drivers do think about the impact on people with sight loss, but park on the pavement anyway.
Pavement parking particularly affects people with visual impairments, parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and other disabled people. According to a Guide Dogs survey, 97% of blind and partially sighted people have encountered obstacles on the pavement, and 9 out of 10 have had problems with pavement parked cars.
Guide Dogs is campaigning for to make pavement parking an offence, except in areas where local authorities grant specific exemptions. This is already the case in London, but elsewhere across the country, councils struggle to tackle unsafe pavement parking because they can only restrict it street by street.
Lilian Greenwood MP commented: ” I know from discussions with my own constituents that inconsiderate and dangerous parking is a real problem for blind and partially sighted people, wheelchair users and parents with young children, prams and buggies. No one should be forced to walk in the road by cars parked on the pavement. It’s time the Government acted to tackle problem pavement parking across the country.”
James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, commented: “Pavement parked cars can turn the walk to work or trip to the shops into a dangerous obstacle course. It’s a nuisance for anyone, but if you have a visual impairment or a toddler in tow, stepping out into the road with moving traffic is just too big a risk.