Angela Rayner MP is backing the Guide Dogs’ campaign to stop cars parking on pavements.
The MP for Ashton-under-Lyne attended the Guide Dogs’ event at the House of Commons in support of their campaign. The charity believes that vehicles parked on pavements put in danger people who are living with sight loss.
The event highlighted the problems faced daily by guide dog owners who are being forced to walk into the road to avoid cars blocking their path. MPs heard from one guide dog owner who had even considered giving up his guide dog because of the constant obstructions he faced when out and about.
Pavement parking is already an offence in London, but the rules in the rest of the country are complex and patchy, leaving drivers uncertain of where they can and cannot park. Guide Dogs is calling for the introduction of comprehensive laws across the UK, which will outlaw pavement parking, but allow local councils to grant an exemption in areas where pavement parking is unavoidable.
Angela said: “It would be great to see nationwide action, but failing that it’s important that motorists recognise the impact that unthinking parking can have on people with sight problems.
“It must be terrifying to suddenly find your path blocked because a vehicle is in the way. Pavements are meant for pedestrians – not parking.”
James White, Campaigns Manager for Guide Dogs, said: "Cars parked on pavements blight the lives of people living with sight loss and other vulnerable road users including wheelchair users and parents with buggies or prams.
"Imagine how frightening it must be to step out into a busy road when you can't see on-coming traffic, or you have your young child with you. We want to stop people from being forced into the road and we call on all parties to support a new law on pavement parking."
- The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is a British charitable organisation founded in 1931. Guide Dogs provides independence and freedom to thousands of blind and partially sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services. It also campaigns passionately for the rights of those with visual impairments. Guide Dogs is working towards a society in which blind and partially sighted people enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.