Guide Dogs calls on Government to end inaction over pavement parking

New research by Guide Dogs shows the wide variety of people affected by pavement parking, and the everyday impact it has on their lives. Nine in ten disabled people, including those with sight loss, mobility scooter users, and parents or carers with children said they had been affected by pavement parking. 

The report, Blocked In: The Impact of Pavement Parking, is calling on the Government to introduce a new law on pavement parking, with drivers only permitted to park in designated areas approved by local authorities.

The research shows how people with sight loss are particularly affected by pavement parking, with nearly all those surveyed saying they have been forced to walk in the road, potentially into traffic they cannot see, to get around a vehicle parked on the pavement.

The research also highlighted: 
- Four in five people with sight loss said pavement parking causes them a problem at least every week, and around half them saying it was a daily difficulty.
- One in five people with sight loss has been injured because of a vehicle parked on the pavement 
- Almost a third (31 per cent) of people with sight loss said that pavement parking made them less willing to go out on their own and just under a quarter (23 per cent) said that it made them feel lonely or isolated. 

Linda Parsons from Peterborough has been paired with her guide dogs Chips for four years and frequently experiences issues with pavement parking. She said: “People park their cars in such a way they are completely blocking the path so I’m forced to walk in the road. I’ve tripped and been injured when I’ve tried passing a car blocking the pavement. There have even been times when I’ve asked the driver who is parked on the pavement to move their car, and been told to walk in the road like everybody else, despite the fact I’m clearly with my guide dog.” 

Helen Honstvet, Senior Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, said: 

"Today’s research reflects the everyday impact pavement parking has on wide number of pedestrians. It’s been over 1,500 days since the Government promised to look into the issue, and they still haven’t published their findings. 

We are urgently calling on the Government to introduce a new law limiting pavement parking to areas determined by local authorities. This system has been in place in London for over 40 years, and our report shows that in London, far fewer people with sight loss faced daily problems with pavement parking compared with the rest of the UK. 

While pavement parking may be convenient for drivers, it acts as an immediate physical barrier to some of the most vulnerable in society and can lead to some people feeling lonely and isolated from their local communities."

People park their cars in such a way they are completely blocking the path so I’m forced to walk in the road. I’ve tripped and been injured when I’ve tried passing a car blocking the pavement.
Linda Parsons, Guide dog owner