01:00PM, Saturday 21 March 2020
The Government has laid out plans to crack down on pavement parking in a bid to help people with sight or mobility impairments.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps set out new proposals on Thursday and the Government is set to consult on them in the summer.
The 12-week consultation will discuss allowing local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to crack down on unnecessary obstruction of the pavement. Currently, outside London, only police have this power.
Christine Aspey, a visually impaired member of the Maidenhead Macular Society, said:
“It would be such a positive move, not only for visually impaired pedestrians using canes or guide dogs, but mothers with small children and buggies, elderly people with walking aids and of course mobility scooters.”
Don Stimson, also of the Macular Society, said that parking on the pavement can also damage them, creating loose stones that partially sighted people could trip over.
However, he highlighted the problem with forcing cars to park on especially narrow roads.
“With cars parked on the road on either side, emergency services won’t be able to get through,” he said.
Peter Haley, chief executive of People to Places, a Maidenhead accessibility charity, also recognised the dilemma, as People to Places often struggles to find parking when picking up service users in its mini-vans.
Though the organisation does not park on the pavement, sometimes it must temporarily block the road in order to get close enough to the service user’s home.
He said: “When you’re in a packed street, where do you go? For people who can’t walk very far, 200 yards down the road is too much.
“Then again, for people who use mobility scooters, if there are cars parked on the pavement and no drop curb, you’re absolutely trapped.”
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