I'm supporting Guide Dogs UK campaign for safer streets.

Penny MordauntMP says, “I want streets that work for blind and partially sighted people”

MP takes a trip down Guide Dogs’ Memory Lane.

Penny MordauntMP spoke with the charity Guide Dogs at the ConservativeParty conference about the challenges that blind and partially sighted people face when walking the streets, including pavement parking, street clutter and shared spaces.

Pavements blocked by parked cars or street clutter such as wheelie bins and overhanging branches can force pedestrians to walk into the road, putting them in danger of oncoming traffic.

Shared space streets, where vital safety features such as kerbs and controlled crossings are removed, can also be dangerous and disorientating for people with sight loss.

To illustrate these risks, Guide Dogs asked the MP for Portsmouth Northto take a trip down memory lane and play their ‘Navigation Game’ – a take on the classic final challenge of the Generation Game – memorising the hazards that a guide dog owner might encounter on a typical journey.

Guide Dogs are calling for action on the most common dangers for people with sight loss, including a new law limiting pavement parking to areas determined by the local council, action from local authorities on street clutter and a safety review of existing shared space schemes.

Penny Mordaunt MP said: "I've long supported Guide Dogs UK and their various campaigns. The parking problems across the city mean I'm regularly contacted by visually impaired people who struggle to go about their day-to-day lives because of cars blocking dropped kerbs and crossing points on roads. It's difficult for guide dogs to navigate these obstacles. That's why I'm backing Guide Dog's campaign for safer streets."

Helen Honstvet, Senior Campaigns and Public Affairs Manager at Guide Dogs, commented:

“The street environment has a huge impact on people with sight loss. When a street is blocked with obstacles or lacks vital safety features, it can make the difference between getting out and about with confidence or feeling forced to stay at home.

We’re calling for action to tackle the most common hazards that affect blind and partially sighted people on their local streets: pavement parking, street clutter and shared spaces.”

Notes for Editors

  1. The charity Guide Dogs exists to provide life-changing services to the 360,000 people who are registered blind or partially sighted, and the two million people in the UK living with sight loss. We believe no-one with sight loss should be left out of life. We want everyone who experiences sight loss to be able to live the life they choose and feel confident, independent and supported in the world.

We’re a UK-wide charity, founded in 1934, and we are best known for our world-famous guide dogs. But our work now encompasses so much more. In recent years, we have expanded our services beyond our dogs to help thousands of people, of all ages and with different needs, to reach their potential and lead fulfilling lives. Find out more at guidedogs.org.uk.

  1. For more information about Guide Dogs and the Streets Ahead campaign, please contact Public Affairs Manager Chris Theobald on 0118 983 8162 or chris.theobald@guidedogs.org.uk

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