Seeing the problem of pavement parking



Naomi Long has experienced the perils of pavement parking, as she took part in a special walk to show the need for more responsible parking.

The blindfold walk was in aid of charity Guide Dogs NI, which has called for better enforcement of existing legislation and greater awareness from drivers when it comes to careless parking, as many blind people walking footpaths suffer the consequences.

To highlight the problem, East Belfast Alliance Westminster candidate Naomi recently took to the streets of the local area blindfolded, accompanied only by guide dog Benji and his handler, to experience the problems first-hand. She said vehicles parked on pavements would continue to force pedestrians into danger on busy roads unless the issue was dealt with.

“Pavement parking is an issue which affects people throughout Northern Ireland. It is particularly harmful to people who are visually impaired, wheelchair users and parents with buggies.

“My experience during the blindfold walk gave me a small taste of the obstacles in our streets faced by people with sight loss, holding them back from freely walking to the shops, seeing friends or visiting the doctor’s in the same way as everyone else.

“I’d urge drivers to be more considerate when parking and I fully support the calls to tackle the issue of pavement parking.”