Guide dog owners ‘day of action’

A guide dog user is forced onto the road by parked cars on the pavement
A guide dog user is forced onto the road by parked cars on the pavement

A Mid Ulster guide dog owner is appealing to motorists not to park on pavements.

Speaking ahead of a concerted ‘day of action’ on Friday the guide dog owner, Vicky, said she faces the challenge of inappropriate pavement parking on a regular basis.

“It makes me feel very unsafe because I have to go out on to the road, and very angry that people are so inconsiderate,” she said.

“I come across it quite often, especially in residential areas. In the town it’s delivery vans causing the problem more than anything and it’s a nuisance for all pedestrians.

“There is also a school at the top of the street which makes the problem worse. Residential areas are the most difficult – a lot of houses have more than one car and want to park as close to their house as possible.”

Cookstown Councillor Trevor Wilson appealed to motorists to pay careful attention to where they park their vehicles.

“Drivers should be more aware of parking on the footpaths or causing any kind of obstruction on pedestrian routes,” he said.

The ‘day of action’ is part of Guide Dogs Week, Guide Dogs NI in partnership with the PSNI and Cedar Foundation are re-launching our Pavement Parking campaign.

A Guide Dogs NI spokesperson said: “Pavement parking is an increasing problem in our local communities. Where cars are parked on pavements, pedestrians risk their lives by walking into the road just to get from A to B.

“We have been asking motorists to show consideration for other road users by making sure they park in a manner which leaves enough room for pedestrians to pass, particularly the elderly, pram and wheelchair users and those with sight loss.

“While it is difficult to assess the ‘culture change’ we are seeking to achieve, initial statistics from the PSNI are promising.”

The spokesperson expressed the hope that the public will throw their support behind ‘the day of action.’