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Guide Dogs calls for pavement parking ban as three quarters forced into road

12 Sep 2014

Almost three quarters of UK adults (74%), have been forced to walk into the road because of a vehicle parked on a pavement, according to a survey commissioned by Guide Dogs.  The charity is leading a campaign to call for a new law to ban parking on pavements and is asking politicians to back a private members bill which will be tabled on 12 September.

Guide Dogs is concerned that cars, vans and other vehicles parked on pavements are making town centres and cities into no go areas for people who are living with sight loss. The charity also believes they are a danger to other pedestrians such as elderly people, wheelchair users and those pushing buggies.

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Despite the dangers, 52% of the 2000 adults surveyed by YouGov said they saw vehicles pavement-parked on a daily basis.

James White, Campaigns Manager for Guide Dogs, said:

“Imagine having to step out into the road without being able to see oncoming traffic. This is the daily reality for many people who are living with sight loss. It’s time for politicians to do the right thing and support the new law that will help prevent pavement parking.”

Claire Curry is a guide dog owner from Liverpool. Her six-year old daughter sustained a serious facial injury and had stiches after tripping on a kerb when the pair were forced to change their route to school by a badly parked car.

Claire said: “We are faced with cars parked on pavements nearly every day when trying to get from A to B. Whether it’s stepping out into the main road to get round them or changing my route completely, I often find myself having to take a risk to get where I need to go. What happened to my daughter that day was bad enough but it could have been significantly worse.” 

The majority of the people who took part in the YouGov survey (eight out of ten) recognised that vehicles parked on pavements were unsafe for people living with sight loss. While 44% of those most likely to be affected – including people who are blind or partially sighted, other disabled people, older people (aged 65+) and parents with buggies  - said they felt “angry” when forced to walk in the road because of a car blocking the pavement.

Earlier this year YouGov research that was commissioned by Guide Dogs showed that almost seven in 10 people (69%) support a national law that prohibits pavement parking.[1]

Politicians now have an opportunity to back the Pavement Parking Bill. The proposed legislation, which has been tabled by Martin Horwood MP, comes before the House of Commons for the first time on Friday 12 September. Guide Dogs wants all MPs to do the right thing and show their support for a national law on pavement parking.

The research from Guide Dogs shows that a national law is likely to lead to a reduction in pavement parking. Of the drivers surveyed who said they have pavement-parked, more than three quarters (76%) stated that they were likely to stop doing so if it became illegal.

In 1974 pavement parking was banned in London, with exemptions for businesses loading goods and specific exemptions granted by individual councils. Guide Dogs believe the approach works well in London but pavement parking remains legal across much of the rest of country. The Bill before Parliament would implement a London-style system across the country.


[1] YouGov research commissioned by Guide Dogs, March 2014 – sample size 2,352 adults




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