Stephen McPartland Member of Parliament for Stevenage, visited a street scene to learn more about the challenges people with sight loss face when walking.
Stephen McPartland MP said, "I had to dodge a pavement parked car, avoid stumbling across a variety of street clutter, and experienced a “shared space” area lacking safety features such as kerbs and pedestrian crossings. I also chatted with two Stevenage Guide Dog Oweners, Margaret Clarke, who came along with her guide dog Marston, and Siobhan Meade and understand the impact such obstacles have on them."
Guide Dogs is campaigning for a law to make pavement parking an offence, except on streets where local authorities agree that it is safe for pedestrians.
According to a Guide Dogs survey, 97% of blind and partially sighted people have encountered obstacles on the pavement. The most common obstacles were cars parked on the pavement: 9 out of 10 have had problems with pavement parking. Pavement parked cars force pedestrians into the road to face oncoming traffic. This is particularly dangerous for people with vision impairments, parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and other disabled people.