Guide Dogs is calling on the Government to make it illegal for people to park on pavements to protect vulnerable pedestrians from having to walk out onto the road.
The charity has launched a new petition urging the Government to make pavement parking illegal, except in certain areas allowed by local councils.
Cars parked on pavements pose a serious danger to people with sight loss and many other pedestrians, including wheelchair users, older people and parents with pushchairs, by forcing them out onto the road.
The petition comes after MPs debated a proposal to make it an offence to park on pavements, except where the local authority has created a special exemption, in December 2015.
At the time, Transport Minister Andrew Jones promised the Government would look seriously at the issue, including conducting new research but Guide Dogs says no real action has been taken.
A survey by Guide Dogs showed that 97 per cent of blind or partially sighted people encountered problems with street obstructions, and 90 per cent of those had experienced trouble with a car parked on a pavement.
James White, senior campaigns manager at Guide Dogs, said the Government committed to taking action to end this blight but little had been done.
“It’s time for a new nationwide law to end inconsiderate and unnecessary pavement parking. The worry of not knowing if you will need to step into the road due to a blocked pavement is an added stress people with sight loss shouldn’t have to contend with,” he said.
Guide dog owner Nathan Foy, from Cardiff, said having to walk in the road because of cars parked on pavements was “terrifying” no matter how busy the street was.
“I also have to think about the danger it poses to my guide dog, let alone when I am out with my two-year-old daughter. I’m sure if drivers could experience what it’s like to step out into such a dangerous situation when you can’t see, they’d park elsewhere,” Nathan said.
Guide Dogs’ campaign for a ban on pavement parking is supported by more than 30 other charities and organisations who want to see a new nationwide law in place.
You can sign the petition here.
Picture credit: Guide Dogs