Linda Fabiani MSP spoke with the charity Guide Dogs Scotland recently about the challenges pavement parked cars create for blind and partially sighted people, who may have to risk their safety by walking onto the road just to get by.
A survey by Guide Dogs showed that 97% of blind or partially sighted people encounter problems with street obstructions, and 90% of those had experienced trouble with a pavement parked car.
The MSP for East Kilbride heard of the difficulties that councils face in trying to tackle the issue with their current powers, and why Guide Dogs is calling for a clear law on pavement parking.
Guide Dogs Scotland is supporting proposals in the Transport (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament that would prohibit pavement parking, except in areas which need a legitimate exemption. Linda Fabiani MSP is supporting this Bill and Guide Dogs’ campaign to make pavement parking an offence. This would give local authorities real power to properly tackle this problem.
“I fully support their Pavement Parking Initiative. Anything that would make life easier for the blind and partially sighted should be seriously considered. While there might be challenges in some streets, workable solutions can and should be found.”
Niall Foley, engagement Manager at Guide Dogs Scotland, commented:
“Cars blocking pavements are a nuisance for everyone, but can be a real danger for people for people with sight loss, potentially forcing them out into the roads to get by. The powers that councils and police have at the moment aren’t sufficient to tackle the problem, and that’s why we are supporting the Scottish Government’s proposals in the Transport (Scotland) Bill for a clear law where drivers cannot park on the pavement unless they’re in a specifically designated area.”