A CHARITY which helps many partially sighted people across Whitby and district has welcomed new government moves to stop people parking on the pavement.
Viv Wright from Whitby, who is chief officer of Scarborough Blind and Partially Sighted Society, said the group had campaigned on the issue before as pavement parking can cause a great deal of difficulty for people with visual impairments.
The Department for Transport has now given all councils in England permission to use signs to indicate a local pavement parking ban.
Until now, councils have had to gain special signs authorisation from the Government each time they want to put a pavement parking ban in place.
Mrs Wright said: “We were really pleased to hear the news.
“Pavement parking does cause a lot of problems for people in this area.
“We have tried to educate people but they seem to think that if they’re not causing an obstruction on the road, it doesn’t matter that they’re causing an obstruction on the pavement.
“It’s not just visually impaired people who are affected by this – it can be families with buggies who end up having to walk in the road.
“Pavements are for people, not for cars.”
She added that following the announcement the group will highlighting the worst affected areas and ask North Yorkshire County Council to take action.
From 1 April the county council will take over all highway functions, some of which are still under the control of the borough council.
Nick West, area highways manager for the Whitby area, said: “Anything that makes our life easier in terms of enforcement has got to be welcomed.
“It’s clearly a big issue, particularly in urban centres and it’s important we make it a priority.”
Mr West added that he was aware of Scarborough Blind and Partially Sighted Society flagging up the issue in the past and that it is something that will stay on the agenda.
He said: “There are a lot of issues surrounding pavement parking and it’s too early to say what will happen regarding signage.”