24 AUG 2015

MP leads local campaign against pavement parking alongside Sobell Lodge staff and residents

'Parking on Pavements is hazardous, and here's the proof' said Maidstone & the Weald MP Helen Grant during a visit to Staplehurst on Friday 21st August.

On a recent previous visit, Helen and Tracy Haith, the Sobell Lodge Service Manager, had discussed the difficulties wheelchair users had with cars parking on pavements and with accessibility to the local bank and shops.

With a team of residents and volunteers from Leonard Cheshire disability home Sobell Lodge, together with Parish Councillor Peter Spearink, Helen led the banner wielding campaign column along Staplehurst High Street putting leaflets on cars parked on pavements and talking to passers by.t previous visit, Helen and Tracy Haith, the Sobell Lodge Service Manager, had discussed the difficulties wheelchair users had with cars parking on pavements and with accessibility to the local bank and shops.

Helen said 'I think for the most part, drivers are unaware of problems caused to pedestrians when they park on the pavement, thinking instead that this will minimise the impact on through traffic. In fact the practice can force pedestrians to step into the road because they restrict the width of the pavement. It especially affects those with pushchairs, wheelchairs or mobility scooters and also damages the pavements causing people to trip'.

She added 'we've chosen today at random but just look at how many vehicles there are on the pavements on the arterial main road through the village of Staplehurst, the infamous A229'.

Campaign leaflets were prepared jointly with Sobell Lodge and Helen hopes the publicity will help educate drivers to recognise the impact of their actions on pedestrians throughout her constituency and beyond.

Helen also talked to the managers of local stores praising those with permanent ramps, such as Corals the bookmaker, and suggesting to others with temporary access ramps to consider improvements for wheelchair access.

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