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Guide Dogs urges government to take action

14th February 2020
Posted by Aston Avery

We have all come across a car parked on the pavement – whether it’s a delivery van dropping off a parcel, a taxi picking up a passenger or someone popping down to the shop for a pint of milk. Maybe you’re even guilty of doing it too when you stop in to say “hi” to a friend or drop the kids off at school. While most of us would consider it a minor offence, for vulnerable people it can seriously affect their day-to-day lives; whether that’s people with disabilities, the elderly, visually impaired or people with a pushchair.

Today Guide Dogs, the charity providing support for the 360,000 people registered blind or partially sighted and the 2.3 million people living with sight loss in the UK, is publishing a report called Blocked In: The Impact of Pavement Parking, and is urging the Government to introduce a new law on pavement parking, with drivers only permitted to park in designated areas approved by local authorities – as is already the case in London.

It comes as new research shows more than 95% of blind and partially sighted people said they have been forced to walk in the road, potentially into traffic they cannot see, to get around a vehicle parked on the pavement. Meanwhile, 1 in 5 say they have been injured trying to get around a car blocking the pavement with some even reporting suffering verbal abuse while walking in the road or when asking owners to move their vehicles.

Aston spoke to Helen Honstvet from Guide Dogs and case study Gordon Divall to discuss the effects pavement parking can have on those with sight loss, and explain what they’re asking the UK Government to do.