Where to next on pavement parking?

What do these four things have in common?

  • Guide Dogs
  • Callers to BBC local radio stations
  • MPs from all political parties
  • Lord Low of Dalston

Answer: They all support a Pavement Parking Law, of course!

And they’re not the only ones. Our recent attempts to get a pavement parking law have seen support from all corners. The new law would help put a stop to the dangerous practice of pavement parking, which causes so many problems to guide dog owners and others.

On Friday 9 January, we waited with baited breath for Martin Horwood MP to speak on his Pavement Parking Bill, which would introduce this law in England and Wales. But, alas, it was not to be. The quirks of our parliamentary system mean that this type of bill (led by an individual MP, rather than by the Government) can fall purely due to a lack of time, no matter how urgent, worthy or well-supported.

But we achieved so many other things though that more than make up for the lack of debate. It was a whirlwind of a day, with the campaign featuring all over the media, including a Guide Dogs Eye View video shown on BBC Breakfast and in the Mirror, as well as loads of regional TV, radio and newspapers.

Group Shot With Window PortraitIt’s not just about changing laws, it’s about changing attitudes too. Every time this issue is discussed on TV or radio, the message gets through to drivers a bit more. One of my highlights from Friday was a tweet from a guide dog owner: “Strange with all pavement parking in news. This morning a van driver came and apologised for parking on pavement and escorted us safely round". It’s just a small thing, but it makes a difference to somebody and it’s a real, tangible result for our campaign.

I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved so far. But don’t think for a minute that we’re stopping there. The Bill has a new date for debate (27 March) although unfortunately it’s unlikely to happen, so close to the General Election. However, the General Election brings its own opportunities to influence MPs and we’ll hit the phones again in May to make the case for another bill. In the meantime, the next attempt to change the law will be through the House of Lords: veteran disability campaigner Lord Low of Dalston has already arranged for pavement parking to be discussed in the House of Lords in just a few weeks’ time. Watch this space.

Take Action! Help raise awareness in your local community about pavement parking, write to your local newspaper about pavement parking using our online tool.


ron, 4:29pm Thu 5 Mar 2015:

pavements are for people not vehicles , that is all of our pavements . not as some damned councillor says this much is o k . all of the pavement and this includes traders who put out a frames , some of them are of metal /glass / concrete, and pavements are not made to carry the weight of vehicles, but in oxfordshire the police do not moniter / or even look at commercial vehicles on our pavements ., this is stealing as well as dangerouse, as its not in their remit its the responsibility of wardens, that are just tax collectors. definatly not wardens to help the public, so lets get democracy into our councils and government

lyn, 11:07am Tue 10 Feb 2015:

I fully support any action to stop pavement parking it is dangerous for all who use the pavements to get about. especially vulnerable groups old and young.

Barry , 10:24am Wed 21 Jan 2015:

Usually when people park partially on the pavement there is still insufficient space for 2 vehicles to pass so they have achieved absolutely nothing beyond managing to obstruct both the road and the footpath at once

Angela, 2:53am Sun 18 Jan 2015:

Pavement parking could be dangerous for children and cause pain for disabled people who have to cross the road in wheelchairs or electric scooters as they have to bump down the dropped kerb. Why are vehicles allowed to block the whole pavement sometimes? Could there at least be a tolerance for enough pavement to allow mums with prams etc to pass? I bought an electric scooter but I hardly ever use it as I know I will feel pain from severe arthritis afterwards as I have to cross the road more often because of selfish pavement parking which blocks my way.

Lorraine, 12:20pm Sat 17 Jan 2015:

Good for you and the sooner this becomes mandatory the better. Drivers should be forced by law to abide by ALL highway code rules and especially rule 244.

Christine, 8:43pm Fri 16 Jan 2015:

I have a disabled scooter & find pavement parking an absolute nightmare !!

jacqueline, 7:09pm Fri 16 Jan 2015:

It would be safer for everyone to stop this. Grass verges are being turned into mini car parks where I live. I cannot imagine how a partially sighted or blind person copes. I complained about Fair Oak High School about verge parking, very little has been done. It would be safer for everyone, the car is not King!.

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This week's blog writer is Jennifer Keen, Senior Public Affairs Officer in the Guide Dogs Campaigns Team.

Parking pop graphic of a van

"I find it immensely frustrating when a car blocks my way by parking on the pavement, especially if it forces me and my guide dog Breck in to the road to compete with passing traffic. This is inconvenient and dangerous for pedestrians like myself."

John, Guide Dog Owner

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