Gavin Newlands, the Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has backed the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association’s pavement parking campaign this week.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association has been active for 75 years and provides help to thousands of blind and partially sighted people in Scotland across the rest of the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services. The Guide Dogs also campaign to protect and extend the rights and well-being of those with visual impairments by lobbying parliament and invest in eye disease research.
The Guide Dogs’ campaign ‘Streets Ahead’ aims to tackle some of the most frequent barriers to accessible streets for people living with visual impairments – one of these problems being vehicles parking on pavements.
Gavin Newlands, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:
“Where vehicles are parked on pavements, and are blocking pedestrian access, people who are blind and partially sighted may be forced to walk on a dangerous road – a problem that parents with prams, wheelchair users, older people and many others face.
“The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association conducted a survey that showed that 97 per cent of blind or partially sighted people encounter the problems of street obstructions and 90 per cent of those had experienced trouble with a pavement parked vehicle.
“Furthermore, a survey by YouGov showed that over half of motorists had considered the problems that pavement parking would cause for pedestrians but had chosen to do so regardless.
“It is absolutely clear that a change needs to happen – a standardised law across the country would make it clear that pavement parking should be an exception, not the norm for motorists. We need a law that clearly states that drivers cannot park on the pavement unless in a specifically designated area.”