GUIDE Dogs Scotland is calling on people to write to their MSPs in support of proposed legislation that will enforce restrictions on irresponsible and dangerous street parking.
Sandra White MSP has lodged the Proposed Responsible Parking (Scotland) Bill with the Scottish Parliament and the proposal must earn the support of MSPs to become law. The deadline for securing the required support is February 22.
“There is one month to make a difference that will greatly improve the lives of a great many people,” said Jane Horsburgh, Guide Dogs Scotland’s policy manager. “Parking across dropped kerbs, crossing points and on pavements poses significant barriers to the mobility of blind and partially sighted people, disabled and older people, as well as families with pushchairs.”
A recent survey by Guide Dogs revealed that almost half of drivers questioned said they would park their car on a pavement, and that many of them do not think about the danger they pose to people with sight loss.
Musselburgh Guide dog owner David Keenan said he feels he and guide dog Royal are endangered by irresponsible parking.
“Cars parked on the pavement aren’t an inconvenience – they’re a hazard,” said Mr Keenan. “It’s dangerous for me to have to walk out into the road, especially during winter months, because I find it difficult to see and be seen. Suddenly a routine walk to the shops, cafe, or to meet a friend becomes a frightening prospect when cars or vans double park or block pavements and kerbs.”
Keith Irving, head of Living Streets Scotland, and the founder member of the Responsible Parking Alliance, said: “The consultation on a responsible parking bill received a huge response from people across Scotland with overwhelming support for legislation. The time for discussion is over. We are keen to support Sandra White and local authorities to deliver effective legislation which treats all road users fairly and enables all of us to get around safely and easily.”
Inconsiderate parking is a major barrier for people with visual or mobility impairments, wheelchair or mobility scooter users, families with pushchairs and cyclists, impairments, wheelchair or mobility scooter users, families with pushchairs and cyclists.
If you would like to learn more about the Responsible Parking campaign, and for tips on how to go about contacting your local MSP, visit the website www.guidedogsscotland.org.uk, or contact the Guide Dogs Scotland office in Forfar.