More than half of UK drivers park on the pavement but many don’t realise they could be putting people with sight loss in serious danger, a new survey has revealed.
Research by YouGov, for the charity Guide Dogs, shows that 54 per cent of UK drivers park on the pavement, with more than a quarter (29 per cent) of those doing so a few times a month or more.
More than half (55 per cent) of these drivers say they think about their impact on people with sight loss, whose lives are being endangered because they are forced to step out into incoming traffic, but they park on the pavement anyway.
In London, pavement parking is unlawful and Guide Dogs wants this rolled out nationally.
James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, said Guide Dogs wanted the Government to make all pavement parking unlawful for the safety of people with sight loss and other vulnerable pedestrians, like wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs.
“Imagine you can’t see and yet you’re forced to step out into a busy road with traffic coming from different directions, just because a car is blocking the pavement. It must be terrifying,” James said.
Guide dog owner Sylvia Hawkes, 71, from Leiston, said she had a daily problem with pavement parking.
“I have to keep changing my routes around town which is really stressful. I’ve also had cars drive up on the pavement right next to me to park which is really scary because I don’t see them coming,” Sylvia said.
“I don’t think many drivers understand the stress it causes someone who’s blind.”
Guide Dogs is asking the public to support its petition calling for the Government to make pavement parking illegal unless special exemptions are in place and is today (3rd July) holding a parliamentary reception for MPS on pavement parking today.
You can sign the petition here.
Picture credit: Guide Dogs