Making our pavements safe for all

Pavement parking forces people to walk out into the road, which is particularly dangerous for people with sight loss, wheelchair users and pushchairs.party conf - Guide dogs

Outside of London – where pavement parking has been illegal since 1974 except in designated areas – local councils struggle to tackle the problem with existing Traffic Regulation Orders.

I know from constituents who raise the issue with me that tackling the issue in one street can simply mean that pavement parking frequently increases in neighboring streets. It is frustrating for people who struggle to park properly and dangerous for those with sight loss and others who have to navigate poorly parked cars.

The charity Guide Dogs conducted a survey which showed that 97 per cent of blind or partially sighted people have encountered problems with street obstructions, and 90 per cent have experienced trouble with a car parked on a pavement.

Guide Dogs is campaigning for a new law to make pavement parking an offence and to support local councils who want to do the right thing.

At the recent Labour Party conference I took up the charity’s challenge to clear the streets of pavement parked cars against the clock on a specially-themed whack-a-mole game.

It underlined to me the need for the government to give local authorities real power to be able to properly tackle this problem.

I will be pressing Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to back up previous government promises to consider the issue with a plan to act.

We need to make sure all our pavements across Liverpool Wavertree are accessible to everyone and car owners have a place to park.