October 23rd, 2016

Drivers blind to guide dog users when parking

Updated: 11:21 am, Jul 10, 2015

IRRESPONSIBLY parked cars are forcing blind and partially sighted people to take their life in their hands every time they go out.

So says Warwick resident John Garrett who was born visually impaired but completely lost his sight 25 years ago.

The 48 year-old, who lives on Brooke Mews opposite The New Bowling Green Inn, struggles every day to get past cars parked on the pavement near his home.

He recently encountered problems when being trained with his new guide dog – a 21-month-old Labrador Retriever called Kahn – and had to walk around cars parked on or near the corner of the road.

The dad of one said: “Cars regularly park on, or close to the left corner of my road, forcing my dog and I out into the flow of vehicles on St Nicholas Church Street, whose drivers won’t expect me to be there.

“I am urging the public to ensure they don’t park on the pavement. Cars parked irresponsibly can cause a potentially dangerous obstruction for pedestrians as it can force them onto the road and into the path of vehicles.”

John, who has owned three other guide dogs, believes the problem has got out of control across Warwick district in recent years.

He told the Observer: “Parking on pavements is a growing problem as the pace of life has quickened and motorists have become more self-centred.

“The streets of Warwick are also narrower than those in Leamington and it tends to get more congested with traffic, especially when there is an accident on the M40.”

A recent survey by the Guide Dogs charity found 91 per cent of people living with sight loss said cars parked on the pavement was a major problem.

To help raise awareness the charity have released a video about the struggles guide dog users face.

Search for ‘dangerous pavement parking vs guide dog’ on www.youtube.com to watch.