Alison Thewliss MP gets a “dog bowl in one” for Guide Dogs Scotland

Alison Thewliss MP saw the fun side of the SNP Party Conference this week by putting around street clutter on Guide Dogs Scotland’s mini golf course. With the interactive game, Guide Dogs Scotland raised awareness of their Streets Ahead campaign to keep streets free from clutter.

Street clutter, such as pavement parked cars, shop advertising boards and wheelie bins, is a real blight on the streetscape and a major problem for pedestrians. It is particularly dangerous for people with visual impairments, parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and other disabled people.

According to a Guide Dogs survey, 98% of people with a vision impairment in Scotland encountered obstacles on the pavement and 88% of them have had problems with pavement parked cars specifically. Guide Dogs Scotland campaigns against problem pavement parking to make sure that blind and partially sighted people can get out and about independently.

Alison Thewliss MP commented:

“Our streets must be accessible to all our citizens and I am delighted to give my support to Guide Dogs Scotland in their campaign to tackle street clutter. The SNP in government have already taken action to tackle the most common obstacles facing blind and visually impaired people – including significant changes to the commercial bin arrangements in Glasgow which will see a reduction in the visibility of large commercial bins, thereby reducing clutter and making the city’s streets more attractive for everyone.

“I regularly receive complaints from my constituents about inconsiderate parking and I am hopeful that the SNP Scottish Government will adopt the proposals put forward by my colleague Sandra White MSP to ban unsafe pavement parking, thereby making the streets safer for all but especially those who are blind and visually impaired and rely on clear, obstacle-free pavements to navigate through everyday life.”

Niall Foley, Engagement Manager at Guide Dogs Scotland, commented:

“It is terrifying for someone who cannot see oncoming traffic or has small children with them to take the risk of stepping out into a road because of cars parked on the pavement. Everyone should be able to walk the streets without fear.

“We welcome Transport Scotland’s work on a law to curb unsafe pavement parking and are looking forward to seeing a prohibition of unsafe pavement parking as part of the Transport Bill in the near future.”

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