Marion Fellows MP is supporting Guide Dogs Scotland in its bid to eradicate pavement-parked cars, which risk the safety of blind and partially-sighted people.
A survey by Guide Dogs showed that 97 per cent of blind or partially sighted people encounter problems with street obstructions and 90 per cent of those had experienced trouble with a pavement parked car.
The MP for Motherwell and Wishaw heard of the difficulties that councils face in trying to tackle the issue with their current powers and why Guide Dogs is calling for a clear law on pavement parking.
To illustrate the problem, the charity asked Marion to clear the streets of pavement parked cars against the clock on a specially-themed whack-a-mole game.
Mrs Fellows is supporting Guide Dogs’ campaign to make pavement parking an offence, except in areas where local authorities grant specific exemptions.
This would give local authorities real power to properly tackle this problem.
Guide Dogs Scotland is supporting the Scottish Government’s proposals in the Transport (Scotland) Bill that would prohibit pavement parking in Scotland, except in areas which need a legitimate exemption.
Mrs Fellows said: “It is important that our communities are communities for all.
“This must include people who require the use of guide dogs.
“For those of us who do not require a guide dog, we can only imagine how difficult it must be for people to go about their day-to-day lives.
“The Bill can make it that bit easier for people to do that.
“The Scottish Government’s proposed nationwide ban on pavement parking will replace the need for each council to introduce restrictions via traffic regulation orders and give local authorities new powers to tackle this problem.
“MSPs have shown widespread support for the ban and I am delighted that it will become a reality.”
Niall Foley, engagement manager at Guide Dogs Scotland, said: “Cars blocking pavements are a nuisance for everyone, but can be a real danger for people 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.”