Swindon AdvertiserPlease keep cars off the pavements (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Please keep cars off the pavements

Swindon Advertiser: Alan Fletcher Alan Fletcher

GUIDE dog users across the town are urging motorists to avoid parking on pavements.

Alan Fletcher, chairman of Swindon Guide Dogs, is backing a national campaign from The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, which highlights the dangers of pavement parking.

Alan, 64, of Stratton, has a 3/4in scar above his right eye after walking into a lorry which was parked on a pavement in Ermin Street, Stratton.

“They parked on the pavement while they were delivering something because of the narrowness of the road,” he said.

“I walked into the corner and cut my head. I went to hospital and had three stitches.”

A YouGov poll commissioned by Guide Dogs showed 49 per cent of drivers in the south west admit they park on the pavement, but many of them don’t think about the danger they pose to people with sight loss.

“Sometimes I just turn around and go back home again. It disorientates you because you don’t really know what is there. You’re afraid to go off the pavement and go on the road,” said Alan.

“My guide dog, Joy, is trained to go around any obstruction but that would end up with me and Joy walking along the road, which is dangerous for us and for people driving.

“They don’t expect to see a man and a dog walking on the road. I want people to think about where they are parking and how their parking could put other people’s lives at risk.

“They might think they are only going to be 10 minutes but that is enough time to cause problems.”

The YouGov poll also showed that many pavement parkers in the region haven’t thought about the possible risk they pose to other vulnerable road users, such as the elderly (48 per cent) and adults with prams (29 per cent).

Fay Moore, service delivery manager at Guide Dogs, said: “Cars parked on pavements are an everyday nightmare for blind and partially-sighted people, as well as other vulnerable pedestrians.

“Imagine how terrifying it is to step into a road when you can’t see on-coming traffic.

“Too often people with sight loss are forced out into busy roads because an inconsiderate motorist has blocked the pavement.

“It’s an unwanted barrier to the freedom and independence a guide dog brings.

“Councils in the south west have the tools to penalise drivers who park on pavements and Guide Dogs want them to act now.”

For more information visit www.guidedogs.org.uk.

Comments (23)

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7:13pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Fox in Exile says...

how about banning them from blocking dropped kerbs as well.
how about banning them from blocking dropped kerbs as well. Fox in Exile
  • Score: 0

7:47pm Mon 4 Feb 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Try walking around Red House, Priory Vale, Oakhurst, Hayden End, Ash Brake and any number of other developments in North Swindon and you'll have the same problems.

Its time the drivers were held accountable since it is supposed to be an offense. Good luck trying to get it pursued though.

http://www.northtyne
side.gov.uk/browse-d
isplay.shtml?p_ID=50
5300&p_subjectCatego
ry=883
Try walking around Red House, Priory Vale, Oakhurst, Hayden End, Ash Brake and any number of other developments in North Swindon and you'll have the same problems. Its time the drivers were held accountable since it is supposed to be an offense. Good luck trying to get it pursued though. http://www.northtyne side.gov.uk/browse-d isplay.shtml?p_ID=50 5300&p_subjectCatego ry=883 LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

8:36pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Fox in Exile says...

Totally agree LordAsh. How about starting on Akers Way and making them pay for the damaged verges
Totally agree LordAsh. How about starting on Akers Way and making them pay for the damaged verges Fox in Exile
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Mon 4 Feb 13

faatmaan says...

how about the council actually carrying out its responsibilities with regard to parking enforcement,they seem to neglect this function eventhough they took it off the Police, perhaps the audit commission should see if there is inappropriate diversion of funding is being made to help other parts of the council, eg wifi, payoffs etc ?
how about the council actually carrying out its responsibilities with regard to parking enforcement,they seem to neglect this function eventhough they took it off the Police, perhaps the audit commission should see if there is inappropriate diversion of funding is being made to help other parts of the council, eg wifi, payoffs etc ? faatmaan
  • Score: 0

9:26pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Oldtownmum says...

Neighbours of my parents would rather park on the grass verge than walk a few metres further up the road. They've churned up the grass and turned it into a muddy trench. So selfish and lazy. Others ha e started doing the same now, as once one does is generally open house for everyone to do it.
Neighbours of my parents would rather park on the grass verge than walk a few metres further up the road. They've churned up the grass and turned it into a muddy trench. So selfish and lazy. Others ha e started doing the same now, as once one does is generally open house for everyone to do it. Oldtownmum
  • Score: 0

8:21am Tue 5 Feb 13

beach1e says...

There is no point appealing to people to not park on the pavements etc as there is no deterrent and we live in a society where self is more important.
There is no point appealing to people to not park on the pavements etc as there is no deterrent and we live in a society where self is more important. beach1e
  • Score: 0

8:39am Tue 5 Feb 13

thorninyourside says...

naughty people parking on the pavement, shock horror (better park on the pavement than blocking the very narrow roads to allow emergency services through), how about this then? when the developers submit plans for mass housing to the council perhaps the council should ask the question "um where are people going to park" before just passing plans through for a nice little back hander.....
naughty people parking on the pavement, shock horror (better park on the pavement than blocking the very narrow roads to allow emergency services through), how about this then? when the developers submit plans for mass housing to the council perhaps the council should ask the question "um where are people going to park" before just passing plans through for a nice little back hander..... thorninyourside
  • Score: 0

9:45am Tue 5 Feb 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

@thorninyourside

An estate agent friend of mine told me several years ago, that the council deliberately wanted narrow streets and minimal off road parking to encourage the use of public transport. Hence one of the reasons you have that massively wide pavement and narrow road through Red House.

Even a small amount of common sense could tell most people that it wasn't going to work.

Quote "naughty people parking on the pavement, shock horror (better park on the pavement than blocking the very narrow roads to allow emergency services through)" ..... or perhaps people shouldn't be parking there at all.

Perhaps people should have thought about where they were going to park when they bought the houses....!
@thorninyourside An estate agent friend of mine told me several years ago, that the council deliberately wanted narrow streets and minimal off road parking to encourage the use of public transport. Hence one of the reasons you have that massively wide pavement and narrow road through Red House. Even a small amount of common sense could tell most people that it wasn't going to work. Quote "naughty people parking on the pavement, shock horror (better park on the pavement than blocking the very narrow roads to allow emergency services through)" ..... or perhaps people shouldn't be parking there at all. Perhaps people should have thought about where they were going to park when they bought the houses....! LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

10:23am Tue 5 Feb 13

thorninyourside says...

LordAshOfTheBrake wrote:
@thorninyourside

An estate agent friend of mine told me several years ago, that the council deliberately wanted narrow streets and minimal off road parking to encourage the use of public transport. Hence one of the reasons you have that massively wide pavement and narrow road through Red House.

Even a small amount of common sense could tell most people that it wasn't going to work.

Quote "naughty people parking on the pavement, shock horror (better park on the pavement than blocking the very narrow roads to allow emergency services through)" ..... or perhaps people shouldn't be parking there at all.

Perhaps people should have thought about where they were going to park when they bought the houses....!
Whilst I see your point along with the original story, it is not the fault of the developers, I personally bought off plan, when I was shown the plans for my street the roads were wider and the layout better than what we ended up with after parting with our hard earned money, after complaining to the developer we were told the council had approved the amendments, I have to park half on and half off the pavement in my street but always leave room for people to walk past, unlike Redhouse where I have seen dirty great big landrovers parked actually on the pavement covering completely
[quote][p][bold]LordAshOfTheBrake[/bold] wrote: @thorninyourside An estate agent friend of mine told me several years ago, that the council deliberately wanted narrow streets and minimal off road parking to encourage the use of public transport. Hence one of the reasons you have that massively wide pavement and narrow road through Red House. Even a small amount of common sense could tell most people that it wasn't going to work. Quote "naughty people parking on the pavement, shock horror (better park on the pavement than blocking the very narrow roads to allow emergency services through)" ..... or perhaps people shouldn't be parking there at all. Perhaps people should have thought about where they were going to park when they bought the houses....![/p][/quote]Whilst I see your point along with the original story, it is not the fault of the developers, I personally bought off plan, when I was shown the plans for my street the roads were wider and the layout better than what we ended up with after parting with our hard earned money, after complaining to the developer we were told the council had approved the amendments, I have to park half on and half off the pavement in my street but always leave room for people to walk past, unlike Redhouse where I have seen dirty great big landrovers parked actually on the pavement covering completely thorninyourside
  • Score: 0

11:07am Tue 5 Feb 13

Ricky1 says...

Parking on pavements has become the norm since the government brought in planning rules restricting each property to only one parking space and a garage, and narrowed the streets to slow down/restrict traffic. We all know no one uses a garage, most are too small to fit a car, so everyone has to park their second car in the road or one the pavement. The original idea being that everyone would be encouraged to use public transport and dispose of the car. North Swindon is a prime example of how this policy does not work. How do these people, who dream up these schemes stay in power....
Parking on pavements has become the norm since the government brought in planning rules restricting each property to only one parking space and a garage, and narrowed the streets to slow down/restrict traffic. We all know no one uses a garage, most are too small to fit a car, so everyone has to park their second car in the road or one the pavement. The original idea being that everyone would be encouraged to use public transport and dispose of the car. North Swindon is a prime example of how this policy does not work. How do these people, who dream up these schemes stay in power.... Ricky1
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Tue 5 Feb 13

The Real Librarian says...

Where I used to live there was an old fella who was a known local character.

He was completely blind and walked with a cane that was about six or seven feet long and strong and quite whippy.

Every time he hit a car that was parked on the pavement he would hit it repeatedly with his cane, doing hundreds of pounds of damage to the paintwork, all the while shouting abuse for the benefit of the driver.

Word got around.
Where I used to live there was an old fella who was a known local character. He was completely blind and walked with a cane that was about six or seven feet long and strong and quite whippy. Every time he hit a car that was parked on the pavement he would hit it repeatedly with his cane, doing hundreds of pounds of damage to the paintwork, all the while shouting abuse for the benefit of the driver. Word got around. The Real Librarian
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Oliver_Donachie says...

Ricky1, the policy was part of the previous Labour governments plan and resulted in houses being allowed 1.4 parking spaces per property. This madness was one of the first laws to be removed when the current government in power.

Although this change is very welcome it still leaves those that live in the northern area such as Redhouse, Oakhurst and Taw Hill facing the legacy of that policy.

I am meeting with the North Policing Group and hope to bring a meeting of minds between the highways agency, police and SBC on other solutions to this problem as frankly current systems do not work. If anyone would like to help with feedback on problems they face please feel free to post on the Facebook Priory Vale Residents Association.

https://www.facebook
.com/groups/43390247
3299608/
Ricky1, the policy was part of the previous Labour governments plan and resulted in houses being allowed 1.4 parking spaces per property. This madness was one of the first laws to be removed when the current government in power. Although this change is very welcome it still leaves those that live in the northern area such as Redhouse, Oakhurst and Taw Hill facing the legacy of that policy. I am meeting with the North Policing Group and hope to bring a meeting of minds between the highways agency, police and SBC on other solutions to this problem as frankly current systems do not work. If anyone would like to help with feedback on problems they face please feel free to post on the Facebook Priory Vale Residents Association. https://www.facebook .com/groups/43390247 3299608/ Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Tue 5 Feb 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

@thorninyourside

When my wife and I were looking to move a few years back, we considered buying off plan, but kicked the idea into touch after we'd seen the results around the bits that were developed first.

In your case it is absolutely your developers fault as they changed the plans and didn't tell the customer. There should have been an opportunity for you to not only know about the change, but to be able to walk away as well without financial loss as it was a developer initiated change. I think I would have looked into legal action.
@thorninyourside When my wife and I were looking to move a few years back, we considered buying off plan, but kicked the idea into touch after we'd seen the results around the bits that were developed first. In your case it is absolutely your developers fault as they changed the plans and didn't tell the customer. There should have been an opportunity for you to not only know about the change, but to be able to walk away as well without financial loss as it was a developer initiated change. I think I would have looked into legal action. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Tue 5 Feb 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

@Oliver_Donachie

The answer is simple. Great big lorry and side swipe every one of the illegally parked cars. When they try to claim off the insurance they should be told tough, as they were illegally parked and its therefore purely down to themselves. How many times would this happen before they chose to park elsewhere....... :)


Sometimes people learn the best lessons in the school of hard knocks :)
@Oliver_Donachie The answer is simple. Great big lorry and side swipe every one of the illegally parked cars. When they try to claim off the insurance they should be told tough, as they were illegally parked and its therefore purely down to themselves. How many times would this happen before they chose to park elsewhere....... :) Sometimes people learn the best lessons in the school of hard knocks :) LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Tue 5 Feb 13

PaulD says...

LordAshOfTheBrake wrote:
@Oliver_Donachie

The answer is simple. Great big lorry and side swipe every one of the illegally parked cars. When they try to claim off the insurance they should be told tough, as they were illegally parked and its therefore purely down to themselves. How many times would this happen before they chose to park elsewhere....... :)


Sometimes people learn the best lessons in the school of hard knocks :)
I think the driving without due care and attention by the lorry would be the trump card here
[quote][p][bold]LordAshOfTheBrake[/bold] wrote: @Oliver_Donachie The answer is simple. Great big lorry and side swipe every one of the illegally parked cars. When they try to claim off the insurance they should be told tough, as they were illegally parked and its therefore purely down to themselves. How many times would this happen before they chose to park elsewhere....... :) Sometimes people learn the best lessons in the school of hard knocks :)[/p][/quote]I think the driving without due care and attention by the lorry would be the trump card here PaulD
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Oliver_Donachie says...

The problem is a bit of a nerdy law issue, currently vast areas of north Swindon roads are unadopted meaning enforcement is difficult because from a purely legal viewpoint the roads are private property.

A few ideas are being kicked around, but one of the best in my opinion are "obstruction notices" that could be attached to the vehicles, the legality of this will hopefully be considered on the 13th of March bu all the key agencies.

To date nothing else has really worked, sadly a very hardcore mentality exists amongst a few people that its entirely acceptable to abandon a vehicle anywhere and at any angle as long as it does not have double yellow and that disregard for pedestrians and other roads users is effecting hundreds of people on an almost daily basis including Mr Fletcher in the article.
The problem is a bit of a nerdy law issue, currently vast areas of north Swindon roads are unadopted meaning enforcement is difficult because from a purely legal viewpoint the roads are private property. A few ideas are being kicked around, but one of the best in my opinion are "obstruction notices" that could be attached to the vehicles, the legality of this will hopefully be considered on the 13th of March bu all the key agencies. To date nothing else has really worked, sadly a very hardcore mentality exists amongst a few people that its entirely acceptable to abandon a vehicle anywhere and at any angle as long as it does not have double yellow and that disregard for pedestrians and other roads users is effecting hundreds of people on an almost daily basis including Mr Fletcher in the article. Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Davey Gravey says...

Alot of people park on verges as their wing mirrors are always getting smashed etc by passing cars and buses. It does make a mess of the verges but I can see why people do it.
Alot of people park on verges as their wing mirrors are always getting smashed etc by passing cars and buses. It does make a mess of the verges but I can see why people do it. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Tue 5 Feb 13

house on the hill says...

As always there are 2 sides to this. there are those who quite literally have nowhere else to park because of the planning for less than 2 cars and parking on the pavement leaves more room on the road and then there are those in my road, all of whom have off road parking but cant be bothered to walk the extra coupe of feet from the back of their property to the front and park on the pavement every night. Even worse on bin day when they put their bins out ovenight in between the car and their garden meaning you either have to walk on the road or over their garden to get past.

There are an ever increasing number who feel they can choose to break the laws they think are stupid or uneccessary but of course if they were the victim of someone doing the same would want the book thown at them....
As always there are 2 sides to this. there are those who quite literally have nowhere else to park because of the planning for less than 2 cars and parking on the pavement leaves more room on the road and then there are those in my road, all of whom have off road parking but cant be bothered to walk the extra coupe of feet from the back of their property to the front and park on the pavement every night. Even worse on bin day when they put their bins out ovenight in between the car and their garden meaning you either have to walk on the road or over their garden to get past. There are an ever increasing number who feel they can choose to break the laws they think are stupid or uneccessary but of course if they were the victim of someone doing the same would want the book thown at them.... house on the hill
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Tue 5 Feb 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

PaulD wrote:
LordAshOfTheBrake wrote:
@Oliver_Donachie

The answer is simple. Great big lorry and side swipe every one of the illegally parked cars. When they try to claim off the insurance they should be told tough, as they were illegally parked and its therefore purely down to themselves. How many times would this happen before they chose to park elsewhere....... :)


Sometimes people learn the best lessons in the school of hard knocks :)
I think the driving without due care and attention by the lorry would be the trump card here
It was intended to be tongue in cheek...... :)
[quote][p][bold]PaulD[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LordAshOfTheBrake[/bold] wrote: @Oliver_Donachie The answer is simple. Great big lorry and side swipe every one of the illegally parked cars. When they try to claim off the insurance they should be told tough, as they were illegally parked and its therefore purely down to themselves. How many times would this happen before they chose to park elsewhere....... :) Sometimes people learn the best lessons in the school of hard knocks :)[/p][/quote]I think the driving without due care and attention by the lorry would be the trump card here[/p][/quote]It was intended to be tongue in cheek...... :) LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

3:30pm Tue 5 Feb 13

thorninyourside says...

So the conclusion is the blame lies with 1st the goverment for making the stupid 1.4 car allowance in the 1st place, I mean who has 1.4 cars and unfortunately us people have to use "cars" because we are not all lucky enough to get a job on our doorstep or a bus ride away, 2nd the developers, I mean how much does common sense cost big road, littel road, cardboard box, 3rd the council for rolling over like fluffy bunnies and passing the plans in for a nice bunch of £50 notes 4th us motorists.

Lets hope Alan's head heals and he feels better soon.
So the conclusion is the blame lies with 1st the goverment for making the stupid 1.4 car allowance in the 1st place, I mean who has 1.4 cars and unfortunately us people have to use "cars" because we are not all lucky enough to get a job on our doorstep or a bus ride away, 2nd the developers, I mean how much does common sense cost big road, littel road, cardboard box, 3rd the council for rolling over like fluffy bunnies and passing the plans in for a nice bunch of £50 notes 4th us motorists. Lets hope Alan's head heals and he feels better soon. thorninyourside
  • Score: 0

6:36pm Tue 5 Feb 13

faatmaan says...

rigid repeat enforcement,people choose where to live, they should go into there most important life changing decisions with their eyes open and their brains fully engaged, everybody with sense knows that if there is only one space per unit, the second cars parking will at least be difficult if not impossible, many take advantage of timid neighbours, its time the laws of the land are enforced for the benefit of the law abiding, more likely the new residents would probably be more likely to check their mobile phone signal then work out their parking arrangements.
rigid repeat enforcement,people choose where to live, they should go into there most important life changing decisions with their eyes open and their brains fully engaged, everybody with sense knows that if there is only one space per unit, the second cars parking will at least be difficult if not impossible, many take advantage of timid neighbours, its time the laws of the land are enforced for the benefit of the law abiding, more likely the new residents would probably be more likely to check their mobile phone signal then work out their parking arrangements. faatmaan
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Tue 5 Feb 13

semitonic says...

A blind person telling BMW and 4x4 drivers not to park on the pavement!?

Who on earth does he think he is!
A blind person telling BMW and 4x4 drivers not to park on the pavement!? Who on earth does he think he is! semitonic
  • Score: 0

9:09pm Tue 5 Feb 13

John Smith II says...

It never ceases to amaze me how many people park on the verge/pavement in order to stop right outside their own house. At the end of the day the legal parking of a vehicle is the responsibility of the driver (or keeper?). The only way to guarantee a space is to buy one with your property, or take pot luck on whatever road space might be available.

Reading some of the posts above reminded me of when I looked at property in the North Swindon 'estates' when buying a house a few years ago. I settled on something a few decades older in a pleasant part of town, as for the same money I could get a large drive, garage and much better proportioned house and gardens. I dread to think what the long term residual value of houses in parts of Oakhurst, Redhouse etc. will be when they are not shiny and new - will the tiny gardens, limited parking and scarce local facilities be an attraction?
It never ceases to amaze me how many people park on the verge/pavement in order to stop right outside their own house. At the end of the day the legal parking of a vehicle is the responsibility of the driver (or keeper?). The only way to guarantee a space is to buy one with your property, or take pot luck on whatever road space might be available. Reading some of the posts above reminded me of when I looked at property in the North Swindon 'estates' when buying a house a few years ago. I settled on something a few decades older in a pleasant part of town, as for the same money I could get a large drive, garage and much better proportioned house and gardens. I dread to think what the long term residual value of houses in parts of Oakhurst, Redhouse etc. will be when they are not shiny and new - will the tiny gardens, limited parking and scarce local facilities be an attraction? John Smith II
  • Score: 0

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