Public back Guide Dogs' call for new law on pavement parking

We're urging the Government to act following clear public support for a new law on pavement parking in England. New research by Guide Dogs shows that seven in ten adults (70%) would support such a law, with local authorities able to restrict cars parking on pavements. 

Pavement parking has been a longstanding issue for many pedestrians, but for many people with disabilities or parents with children, it is a serious safety issue.

A recent Government consultation asking about options to tackle pavement parking, including the introduction of a new law, closed on November 22nd. 

We believe a new law limiting pavement parking in England to areas set by local councils is the best option. This system has been in place in London since 1974, and previous Guide Dogs research shows far fewer people with sight loss in London face daily problems with pavement parking, compared with the rest of the UK. 

The latest research also revealed: 
- Almost two thirds (63 per cent) of people believe that drivers should not be able to park on the pavement, even if there are no parking restrictions.
- While 87 per cent of people thought pavements should be prioritised for pedestrians, rather than vehicle parking. 
- Furthermore, 27 per cent of people said they had experienced more issues with pavement parking since March, compared with just eight per cent who had experienced less of a problem with pavement parking.

Terry Quinn from Bradford has been paired with his guide dog Spencer since March. He said: “Even before I was partnered with my guide dog Spencer I had problems with pavement parking. One time I was walking along the pavement and there was a car blocking the path with two wheels parked on the pavement. I accidentally touched the car with my cane and a man jumped out the car and began shouting at me and poking my shoulder. I explain it was an accident, but was extremely shaken up and tried get away from him as quick as possible.” 

Blanche Shackleton, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Guide Dogs, said:

“Today’s research shows yet again that a significant majority of people support our call for a clear law on pavement parking. 

“The Government have long promised to take action on the matter and is now presented with the perfect opportunity to make pavements safer for all pedestrians, and especially the millions of people with disabilities, and parents with children across England by introducing a clear law on pavement parking. 

“Pavement parking has long been a physical barrier to some of the most vulnerable in society. We know that pavement parking makes blind and partially sighted people less willing to go out on their own and can make them feel more lonely or isolated. We eagerly await the outcome of the Government consultation and action being taken to ensure the safety of all pedestrians in the future.” 

Even before I was partnered with my guide dog Spencer I had problems with pavement parking. One time I was walking along the pavement and there was a car blocking the path with two wheels parked on the pavement. I accidentally touched the car with my cane and a man jumped out the car and began shouting at me and poking my shoulder. I explain it was an accident, but was extremely shaken up and tried get away from him as quick as possible.
Terry Quinn, Guide dog owner
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