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Jul 11 2017

Bob Blackman MP says “keep streets clear for disabled people”

Bob Blackman attended a Guide Dogs event at the House of Commons on 3 July to show their support for the campaign to keep parked cars and other obstacles off our pavements.

At the event, the MP for Harrow East heard from guide dog owners how parked cars and street clutter blocking the pavement force them to walk in the road, into the path of traffic they cannot see. They heard that some guide dog owners face these dangerous situations on a daily basis, risking their safety every time they go shopping or make the school run.

Research by YouGov for the charity Guide Dogs shows that 54% of UK drivers admit to parking on the pavement, with more than a quarter (29%) of those doing so a few times a month or more. More than half (55%) of these drivers do think about the impact on people with sight loss, but park on the pavement anyway.

Pavement parking and street clutter particularly affect people with visual impairments, parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and other disabled people. According to a Guide Dogs survey, 97% of blind and partially sighted people have encountered obstacles on the pavement, and 9 out of 10 have had problems with pavement parked cars.

Guide Dogs is campaigning for to make pavement parking an offence, except in areas where local authorities grant specific exemptions. This is already the case in London, but elsewhere across the country, councils struggle to tackle unsafe pavement parking because they can only restrict it street by street.

Bob Blackman commented: “No one should be forced to brave traffic by cars parked on the pavement. Here in London the system works. That’s why I’m calling on the Government to end problem pavement parking across the country. Blind and partially sighted people should be able to walk the streets without fear.”

James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, commented: “Pavement parked cars and street clutter can turn the walk to work or trip to the shops into a dangerous obstacle course. It’s a nuisance for anyone, but if you have a visual impairment or a toddler in tow, walking in the road with moving traffic is just too big a risk.

Our research shows that most drivers who park on the pavement know that it can be dangerous for pedestrians, but many do so regardless. We need clear rules so that drivers only park where it’s safe.

Back in 2015, we were encouraged when the Government committed to find a solution to this problem. We hope that they will now follow up with a law to curb unsafe pavement parking.”

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13 comments

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  1. Manji Kara

    I totally agree that inapprppeiately parked vehicles cause safety issue to all pedestrians, not only to the blind. I am amazed at Bob Blackman asking the government asking the government to solve the problem of pavement parking. There already local laws and endorsement which could issue parking contravention notices to erring motorists. Unfortunately, local councils use the enforcement resources to issue parking overstay notices just to improve revenues. I believe that attention should be to use the enforcement to improve safety rather than increase revenues. The real answer is better funding for local councils. The government is hell bent on cutting revenue grants and the same time passing on more responsibility to local councils. That us a recipe for disaster.

  2. old HARROVIAN

    Why cant the HARROW COUNCIL control the streets of HARROW .
    Beggars taking money at every station
    Beggars sittiing on streets at ST ANNES
    CONSTANT KNIFE CRIME AND DRUGS
    COMMUNITY COUNCIL OFFICERS JUST WALKING BY
    Take this action and help the disabled from being targetted
    We wont mention extra police there already busy

    1. Someonewhocares

      There was actually a public meeting last Wednesday OH about such problems – and it organised was organised by the Police.

  3. Concerned Harrovian

    Another hazard is the fly tips left out on the pavements. Harrow Council need to deal with this problem. At the moment the fly tipper gets a fast, free service unlike law abiding residents who go to the tip or pay the council to take their items away.

    1. Manji Kara

      Spot on! If your bin is missed, you wait hours on phone to report. You stress out! If it is brown bin even worse. You pay for a missed bin. End up taking rubbish to dump yard. Wait hours in long queue. Best solution – yes you got it. Just leave your rubbish on the street. Harrow Council will collect it. No questions asked. It is a disgrace!

  4. mike mcfadden

    Very commendable from Mr Blackman but how about the “Tax-Payers” of Harrow who seem to be ignored all the time.! Very little or nothing has been done about the dumpers from beds in sheds brigade that make our lives a misery with their anti-social behaviour, close them down and 90% of the filth problems will disappear. Its as if Harrow encourage beds in sheds and over crowding because obviously someone is making lots of money from this illegal activity.
    To stop the liars and deniers before they start there is plenty of evidence and Harrow even featured in a TV program for the same reasons.
    Now lets see how many get fined or prosecuted! I have given Harrow leads on rubbish dumpers and even where they live. Not heard anything back and I can’t be the only person who keeps and eye on dumpers. Further, with FIVE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED staff Harrow should have a rubbish warden on every street corner.

    Ha ha ha so much for Harrow’s multicultural nonsense of let people come here and do what they like. Time to sit up and show respect for tax-payers not free-loaders.

    Ave a nice day. Mike Mcfadden

    1. Someonewhocares

      What’s that? There was evidence on TV? It MUST be completely TRUE then!

      1. mike mcfadden

        A lot more honesty then you’ll get out of Harrow council!

  5. Someonewhocares

    That’s great Bob, but as some of this was actually just introduced (via PSPO) on July 1st. are you just not riding the (badly-parked) bandwagon?

    http://www.harrow.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/10011/pspo_document

  6. Manji Kara

    Someonewhocares, Yes it may be a band wagon. Someone has to push it home. Bob is pushing it rather than riding it.

    1. Someonewhocares

      No MK, as I stated/posted the related PSPO was dated 1st. July, Bob made his statements on 3rd. July 3; If he was (for example) announcing that we *already* had a PSPO in Harrow – and so also the means to prosecute/remove these ‘bad parkers’ that would have been “pushing” it – particularly if he had played a part in establishing the PSPO in the first case. Did he? It really does not look like it…… and neither does it look like he was advising other Councils to impose a similar PSPO. Thus *very much* riding it, sorry.

      Thus *I* will make sure ‘Guide Dogs’ are aware of this option ASAP (just in case Bob did not). OK?

      1. Manji

        Can’t agree more. But sadly that’s politics and politicians for you. Claim all good actions and blame others when things go wrong.

        1. Someonewhocares

          As indicated there are Laws *already* to deal with this since (1974)…..

          The Guide Dogs Group collected 31K signatures to campaign for action last week too:

          http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/news/2017/july/31-000-campaigners-call-on-downing-street-to-end-problem-parking

          No MPs there with them at No.10 (of course), but the Govt. did say in 2015 they would Research it but (also of course) didn’t. That’s Politicians for you too: Placate the masses with “we will look into it” and do nothing, or alternatively have a (so-called) “Consultation” and then ignore that if it is ‘too inconvenient’ for them.

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