Pavement parking means I can’t leave the house alone

Rowan Stansfield, who is partially sighted, no longer leaves the house alone because cars parked on the pavement do not leave space for her wheelchair to get past. This forces her onto the road, where she cannot always see cars coming towards her.

In this article, Rowan shares her story and explains how we must all work together to make our streets accessible for all.

Pavement parking reduced my independence

Rowan Stansfield, a partially sighted wheelchair user, is in front of a white transit van which has parked on the pavement making it difficult to pass.

Rowan, in front of a van parked on the pavement

“I was travelling home at night after spending some time out with friends, when a car parked on the pavement left barely any room to pass. Because I’m in a wheelchair, I couldn’t just squeeze pass and I had to go into the road. This is really dangerous for me – not just because I’m in a wheelchair, but because I can’t always see cars coming. I then had to stay in the road until the next drop curb which I also couldn’t see.

“This experience really impacted me, and it really shook my confidence. Pavement parking is one of the reasons I cannot leave the house alone. It’s just too dangerous for me to go into the road. It’s also a reason I try not to go out once it’s dark. I don’t want to be forced onto the road where cars can’t see me and I can’t tell how far away they are.

“In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be any cars parking on the pavement and all pedestrians could use them safely. Car owners would be mindful of the people living in the community. They would not force people into dangerous (possible life-threatening) situations.

“Pavement parking doesn’t just affect blind and partially sighted people. It affects the whole community – parents with prams, dog walkers, people with other disabilities.

“Let’s work together to change this.”

Get involved

We encourage you to write to your Members of Parliament (MPs) and the Secretary of State urging swift action on  pavement parking. Together, our collective voice will ensure the safety of blind and partially sighted people remains a top priority.

Join our campaign to ban pavement parking

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Publication date: 09 January 2024

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