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31,000 campaigners call on Downing Street to end problem parking

13 Jul 2017

Yesterday (12th July 2017) campaigners from the charity Guide Dogs went to Downing Street to hand in a petition signed by more than 31,000 people. The petition calls on the Government to introduce a new law to end problem pavement parking, following inaction to address the issue.

Cars parked on pavements are dangerous for pedestrians, especially people with sight loss, who are particularly affected as they can be forced into oncoming traffic which they cannot see.  Problem pavement parking also effects parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and other disabled people.

Guide Dogs 022 (2)Research by YouGov for the charity Guide Dogs shows that 54% of UK drivers park on the pavement, with more than a quarter (29%) of those doing so a few times a month or more.

Sean Dilley, a guide dog owner said: “People don't park on pavements to deliberately make life difficult for me, but I wish they realised that each time a guide dog owner comes across a car or vehicle on the pavement that's a guide dog will not be able to fit through, we are forced onto the road and into harms way. Often, people abstract pavements for no apparent reason. I don't know whether they are concerned that someone will drive into their car - but I am concerned that someone may drive into me.”

The law Guide Dogs are calling for would extend the system which has been in place in London since 1974. Meaning there would be a presumption against pavement parking although councils could allow it in specific areas, such as narrow roads.

In 2015, Guide Dogs worked with Simon Hoare MP for North Dorset to support a Bill on pavement parking, which was withdrawn after assurances that the Government would undertake research into the legal and financial implications of an alternative regime. A roundtable on pavement parking was convened, which Guide Dogs contributed to, but unfortunately after this positive first step, progress on pavement parking has stalled.