East Antrim MLA urges Pavement parking bill urged

East Anrrim MP Sammy Wilson MLA is calling for the introduction of a Pavement Parking Bill. INLT 25-658-CON
East Anrrim MP Sammy Wilson MLA is calling for the introduction of a Pavement Parking Bill. INLT 25-658-CON

East Antrim DUP MLA Sammy Wilson has urged DRD MInister Danny Kennedy to consider the introduction of a pavement parking bill.

Mr. Wilson was speaking after meeting representatives from the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and some blind people who use guide dogs.

In a statement, Mr. Wilson said: “I know just how debilitating the loss of one’s sight can be having seen the effect on my father who lost his sight late on in life.

“Guide Dogs for the Blind do a fantastic job in giving back thousands of blind people their confidence and independence. The investment in the training of the dogs and their owners and the £50,000 cost of keeping the dog over its working life represents a magnificent commitment to supporting those who have lost their sight.

“Parking on footpaths and other pavement clutter is a real hazard to those who are blind even if they have a guide dog because the dog is trained to stay off the road, so in effect passage is blocked.

“Ninety percent of guide dog owners have experienced problems with parked cars on the pavement and I believe that it is an issue which Transport NI needs to deal with.

“Car owners themselves need to be educated as to the hazard which parking on pavements causes not just to blind people but mothers with buggies and children who are pedestrians or are on bikes.

“I would urge the DRD minister to consider the introduction of a pavement parking bill as a means of addressing this problem.”