I launched my ‘Pavements are for People’ campaign at Fairfield School on White Lee Road.
We all need to encourage more thoughtful behaviour from drivers and make sure our pavements are safe for all users.
I was joined at the school on White Lee Road by Lindsey Moore, who is visually impaired, and Jo Holmes, whose daughter Lucy uses a wheelchair. Both women said they experience parking problems on a daily basis that force them into the road.
Since becoming MP I have received hundreds of messages from constituents highlighting dangerous, selfish, and inconsiderate parking. It affects all of us, but especially users of wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs and prams, and visually impaired people including those with guide dogs. As a local resident myself I know we need safer roads and safer pavements, too.
There are serious challenges in getting those who get behind the wheel of a vehicle and show little or no respect for their fellow citizens to behave responsibly, but I firmly believe that road users have a duty to drive and park with consideration for others.
I have produced a hard-hitting leaflet which you can read below. I hope it will encourage people to take a moment to think about how they park – and how a thoughtless act can lead to potentially dangerous implications for people more vulnerable than they are.
As Lindsay said: “It’s about laziness, not stupidity, but by parking on a pavement or on double-yellow lines you might unthinkingly drive someone into the road because they simply cannot get past any other way. We have to be conscious of it every time we go out. Our message is: think about how you drive and park. Treat us with dignity.”
Jo said: “Some people just don’t realise what they’re doing. Others couldn’t care less. They are the ones that prioritise the safety of their car over the people on the pavement, and they upset me. On top of everything else I do as a parent and a carer I shouldn’t be forced off the pavement into the road by bad parking. It just feels like an insult.”