Pavement parking problems stressed to Mansfield MP
To mark the start of Guide Dogs Week local MP Sir Alan Meale met with guide dog owners and supporters of the charity on Saturday (3 October).
Guide Dogs Week, 3-11 October, is an annual event that celebrates the charity providing life-changing guide dog partnerships and support services to people with sight loss.
The Guide Dogs Mansfield fundraising group were collecting at the Wilkinson’s store in Clumber Street on Saturday where Mr Meale met them to discuss the difference a guide dog can make and some of the challenges people with sight loss face on a daily basis.
Some of the issues highlighted included street clutter and obstacles on the footpath like cars parked on pavements, advertising boards outside shops and street furniture. Charity Guide Dogs is campaigning to raise awareness of these issues, encouraging people to leave the pavements clear for pedestrians.
A survey by Guide Dogs showed 97% of blind or partially sighted people encounter problems with street obstructions, and 90% of those had experienced trouble with a pavement parked car.
Bryan Fox, a guide dog owner from Mansfield, said: “The pavement can be like a minefield and at times I’ve been forced into oncoming traffic due to cars parked on the footway. Fortunately, I’ve got my guide dog Pluto to help me negotiate these obstacles but it’s a scary prospect to walk in the road when you don’t know if something is coming.”
Sir Alan Meale commented: “Campaigns like Guide Dogs’ Street Clutter campaign help to highlight how we can make changes that can make our community nicer for everyone. By parking on the roads instead of the pavement and keeping the footways clear they’ll be easier to negotiate for people with sight loss, people with wheelchairs and others disabilities and parents with pushchairs.”
Mr Meale was also a sponsor of an Early Day Motion in the Commons on the issue and laid it before the House – last year he completed a similar motion calling for Government action on the issue as a matter of urgency. Attached is EDM 206.
- ENDS -
Notes for editors:
There are around 180,000 blind and partially sighted people living in the UK who find it difficult to leave home on their own. Guide Dogs wants to change that, but as it receives no government or statutory funding it relies entirely on the generosity of the public to provide a service that makes a massive difference to the lives of blind and partial sighted people. www.guidedogs.org.uk
For further press information contact: Kelly France, Guide Dogs Engagement Officer, on 07795 611441 or emailKelly.France@guidedogs.org.uk