If you follow my blog or Twitter account, you’ll know that I’m working on a campaign to get pavement parking banned. This follows many frustrating and also dangerous incidents where pavement parking has forced me into the traffic in my wheelchair. My ultimate goal would be to get a nationwide ban, though initially I’m lobbying Sandwell Council to implement it across the local authority.

Pavement Parking endangers Disabled People

I first initiated the campaign following an incident in October 2022. Whilst carrying my youngest child, I was almost tipped out of my wheelchair due to dangerous pavement parking. Despite alerting the council and my children’s school, nothing has improved. In spite of the Headteacher’s pleas, parents continue to park on pavements around the school, often forcing me into dangerous situations. Last week, two similar incidents occurred.

This car was completely blocking access to a gully and the pavement.

The first photo shows a car parked which is blocking both a gully and the pavement. With other cars parked on the road, it was dangerous for me to try and pass. Although the driver was apologetic, she didn’t appreciate the danger she was causing. The second photo shows a vehicle completely blocking the pavement. This forced me to cross the road very close to a busy turn – again putting me in an extremely dangerous situation.

This car was parked on the pavement, blocking access for wheelchair users and prams.

Even my four-year-old gets it

These situations have become so frequent that my youngest son, Niall, now calls vehicles parked on the pavement, “naughty cars”. Even at his young age, he can see the problems that this is causing his mummy. If a four-year-old gets it, it’s not exactly rocket science.

Raising the issue with Sandwell Council has not been easy. It has been disappointing to discover that they do not employ an Access Officer. I was sent a link to a contact form, only it wasn’t a contact form. I was eventually given an email address which was for general feedback. Though I have marked it for the attention of the Parking Team, I’m not sure that it will reach anyone who has the authority to change anything.

But I won’t be deterred. Even if the Council don’t/won’t respond adequately, I’ll continue to lobby councillors, MPs, charities – anyone I can – until someone takes the issue seriously.