Rona MacKay MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden spoke with the charity Guide Dogs Scotland at the SNP conference about the challenges pavement parked cars create for blind and partially sighted people, who may have to risk their safety by walking into 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.
To illustrate the problem, the charity asked Rona to clear the streets of pavement parked cars against the clock on a specially-themed whack-a-mole game.
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. Rona MacKay 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.
Rona MacKay MSP said: “I am happy to support the Transport (Scotland) Bill as I believe pavement parking can have serious consequences for blind or partially sighted people, as well as the elderly, people with mobility issues and parents with young children.
“By giving local authorities the power to administer the pavement parking ban, it will allow East Dunbartonshire Council to determine which roads this should be applied to”
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 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.”
For more information about Guide Dogs Scotland and its Pavement Parking campaign, contact Engagement Manager Niall Foley on 0118 983 6131 or firstname.lastname@example.org