Pavement parking: Blind man forced to walk onto busy road as van blocks path
The blind pedestrians was forced to slowly step onto a busy road to move around the van in a safety hazard. Pavement parking legislation is not currently in force across the whole of the UK and councillors are hesitant to issue fines unless motorists have stopped on double yellow lines.
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Local Facebook group, Can’t Drive, Can’t Park Swindon released the images online with a message warning locals to not park over crossings or pavements.
The images got an instant reaction from concerned locals with many condemning the van driver’s actions to block the path.
Adrian Weeks said: “Finally seen someone who has genuinely even put at risk through the inconsiderate actions of a thoughtless individual.”
Abbie Poole added: “So sick and tired of people parking on pavements.. there is NO need for it. Hope Swindon Borough Council [do] something about this incident.”
The parking problem took place last week on Marlow Avenue just a mile from the heart of Swindon City Centre.
There is said to be parking on nearby Maitland Road and a car park just 50 yards away from the scene which motorists could have used.
Speaking to the Swindon Advertiser, Alan Fletcher, chairman of Swindon Guide Dogs said pavement parking was dangerous for blind people.
He explained being forced to walk on the road put many people at risk including other vulnerable residents such as those with disabilities or parents.
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He added: “People in wheelchairs are vulnerable to this too. They have to go up and down kerbs sometimes where there’s no dropped kerb.
“As well as mums and dads with pushchairs. They all have to go out into the road to get around these vehicles. It’s a major issue and something needs to be done about it.
“A lot of legislation has been sent to Parliament but a lot of what we’re asking for hasn’t been done because they’re too busy with Brexit.”
Currently, pavement parking is only illegal in London where motorists could face up to a £130 fine if they are caught with a wheel on any pavement or grass verge.
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Across the rest of the UK, it is not illegal to park on the side of the road but motorists could be fined for doing so.
The Highway Code states motorists should not park on the pavement meaning this is only advisory.
However, members of the Transport Committee have vowed to introduce pavement parking across the whole of England to make a real difference to communities.
Those targeted as seeing the highest benefit from the proposals are those with mobile and visual impairments who cannot get around vehicles easily.
The group said pavement parking could also increase the risk of loneliness and isolation for many too afraid to leave their homes for fear of facing pavement parking issues.
Plans to introduce a blanket ban for pavement parking has won the support of notable charities such as Guide Dogs, Living Streets and the British Parking Association.
Although legislation has not been passed, this could go ahead as soon as 2020 as ministers push for changes.
According to the RAC, any ban would likely see offenders hit with a fine of around £70.
Issuing guidance to confused motorists, the RAC said: “Outside of London, we advise people to use common sense when faced with no other option but to park on the pavement.
“If you are parking along a narrow road, where parking wholly on the road would stop other cars, and particularly emergency vehicles, from getting through, then it is a sensible option to park partially on a pavement, providing there are no parking restrictions and providing you are not blocking a wheelchair user or pram from using the pavement.
“If there are restrictions, or your parking would cause wheelchair users or people with prams to have to walk into the road, then you should find somewhere else to park.“
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