Call for ban on parking on pavements

Steven Cross with his beloved guide dog Nimmo
Steven Cross with his beloved guide dog Nimmo

A BLIND man has slammed irresponsible motorists who park on the pavement.

Steve Cross said he had been forced to return home on occasions instead of stepping out into the road.

And the father-of-one even had to move house a few years ago because the problem was so bad there.

A new survey has revealed that motorists in the North West are the worst in the country for pavement parking.

Now Guide Dogs is calling on councils to act to protect vulnerable pedestrians.

Guide dog owner Steve, 35, of Harestone Avenue, Chorley, said: “I have had a guide dog for six years. In those six years, it seems to be becoming increasingly common for car owners to feel that it is acceptable to use pavements as an everyday parking area.

“If they knew how much difficulty they caused me and my dog when going about our everyday journeys, I am sure they would think twice.

“I have on many occasions had to step out into the road in order to pass badly-parked vehicles.

“But, on several occasions I have had to make the difficult decision of turning around and taking a longer route, or even going back home because stepping out into the road was simply too dangerous for me and my dog.”

Steve moved from Beacon Street, Chorley, to his present address.

He said: “I had little option. I would open the front door and walk straight into a car two feet away. Cars would park on the pavement after 6pm right up the street.”

Steve had to give up work at the age of 35 because of his sight.

One of his last jobs was principle cutter and pattern maker at Norseman’s Rainwear in Chorley.

He has a genetic condition called retinitis pigmentosa and was told at the age of 17 he could end up blind.

A total of 73 per cent of drivers in the North West admit they park on the pavement, but many of them don’t think about the danger they pose to people with sight loss, according to the survey.

The YouGov poll commissioned by Guide Dogs also shows many pavement parkers also haven’t thought about the possible risk they pose to other vulnerable road users like the elderly 53 per cent, and adults with prams 38 per cent.