Liz addresses MPs on danger to guide dogs

Lixz McManus (right) with Marion Fellows MP
Lixz McManus (right) with Marion Fellows MP

Carfin guide dog owner Liz McManus has been addressing MPs from across the UK about the dangers of pavement parking.

Liz was speaking at an event organised by Guide Dogs as part of the Streets Ahead campaign.

She said: “Cars parked on pavements are definitely a hazard, not just for me but also for folk in wheelchairs and parents with buggies too.

“It’s not just a case of two wheels parked on the pavement, but the whole car and I just can’t get past.

“Abbie, my guide dog, just won’t go on the road because it’s really busy and she knows it’s not safe. So I’m pretty much stuck.”

If there is not enough space to get past vehicles parked on the pavement, the guide dog has no other option than to lead its owner onto road which can be dangerous and scary for a guide dog owner, as they are unable to see the traffic.

Liz met with Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows who fully supports the campaign.

She said: “It was really lovely to meet Liz and I think the campaign is terribly important not just for blind people, but also those in wheelchairs and with prams.

“There is generally no good reason for people to be parking up on pavements and all it is doing is creating unnecessary dangers for pedestrians where none should exist.

“I am delighted that Sandra White is taking a bill through the Scottish Parliament about the matter and I have signed an early day motion at Westminster calling for action to be taken.”

Liz has also been working closer to home with Councillor Pat O’Rourke, local police and Our Lady and St Francis Primary to make pavements safer around the school.

Councillor O’Rourke said: “There was a bit of a problem with people parking up on the pavements near the school which meant that Liz and Abbie couldn’t get past.

“However, I arranged for Liz to talk to the school and happily the situation was resolved.”

PC Barry Maguire, who undertook a blindfold walk organised by Guide Dogs, said: “The walk was an excellent but very unnerving experience and gave me a greater appreciation of the issues that people with visual impairments face daily.

“I believe this experience will allow me to identify and resolve problems, such as footpath obstructions due to inconsiderate parking.”

For more information on the work of Guide Dogs call 0845 37 27 436, e-mail or visit the website