Mike Freer says “Help Keep Streets Clear for Disabled People”

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

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 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.

Mike Freer commented:

“No one should be forced to struggle with cars parked on the pavement. Here in London the system works. That’s why I believe we should look at ways to tackle the problem of pavement parking across the country. Blind and partially sighted people should be able to walk the streets without fear.”

Notes to Editors

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association provides independence and freedom to thousands of blind and partially sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services. It campaigns for the rights of those with visual impairments.

Guide Dogs is working towards a society in which blind and partially sighted people enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.

For more information about Guide Dogs and the Streets Ahead campaign, contact Chris Theobald, Public Affairs Manager on 01189 838162 or chris.theobald@guidedogs.org.uk