Robert Buckland MP took on the challenge of cleaning up the streets at the Conservative Party Conference this week, when the charity Guide Dogs offered him the chance to learn more about the daily difficulties faced by people living with sight loss.
Guide Dogs is calling on MPs and the public to back a new Bill to outlaw irresponsible parking. According to the charity, badly parked cars are putting the lives of pedestrians up and down the country at risk every day. These vehicles are forcing people to step out into the road, without being able to clearly see on-coming traffic.
The charity used a unique twist on the fun-fair game, Hook-a-Duck, to highlight the campaign and Mr Buckland became the guide when he helped a rubber duck navigate a stream full of obstacles.
The MP for South Swindon is supporting Guide Dogs’ campaign on pavement parking, including a proposed law to restrict it to designated areas.
There are nearly two million people in the UK who are living with sight loss and by 2050, there could be nearly four million. So it’s more important than ever that our streets are safe for people who are blind or partially sighted.
Mr Buckland commented: “In June, it was an honour to receive a star on Guide Dogs’ pavement parking Walk of Fame for supporting the charity’s campaign to stop cars parking on pavements.
It was great to meet the charity again at the Conservative Party Conference, and I am proud to support this cause. Guide Dogs is working towards a society in which blind and partially sighted people enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else, and I will do all that I can as a local MP to raise awareness of this issue.
James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, said: “Parking on pavements is blighting Britain's streets. It puts all pedestrians in danger, particularly those living with sight loss.
“It is terrifying for someone who cannot see oncoming traffic to take the risk of stepping out into a road because someone has decided to park on the pavement. We hope this year will see this dangerous practice outlawed once and for all, and call on all MPs to back a change in the law."