Pavement parking and obstructions

by Sarah Leadbetter and Doug Paulley

Pavement parking and obstructions

by Sarah Leadbetter and Doug Paulley
Sarah Leadbetter and Doug Paulley
Case Owner
Sarah is a visually impaired guide dog owner. Doug is a wheelchair user. Both are regularly put in danger by cars and vans obstructing pavements as they try to travel around their local areas.
11
days to go
£3,035
pledged of £10,000 stretch target from 109 pledges
Pledge now
Sarah Leadbetter and Doug Paulley
Case Owner
Sarah is a visually impaired guide dog owner. Doug is a wheelchair user. Both are regularly put in danger by cars and vans obstructing pavements as they try to travel around their local areas.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Aug. 5, 2020

Initial target met!

We have met our initial £3,000 target!

Thank you to everyone who donated and shared this #Pavements4Pedestrians crowdfunder. Every single donation, share and kind comment has been greatly appre…

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Effect of pavement parking and obstruction for disabled people

The obstruction of pavements and dropped kerbs by cars and vans is a major barrier for many pedestrians including disabled people. Going into the road is dangerous for anyone, because drivers do not expect pedestrians in the road.

For disabled people it can be even more difficult and dangerous:

  1. A visually impaired person may have difficulty identifying how much of the pavement is obstructed and when it is safest to go into the road. If they have a guide dog or long-cane, they will have to travel further into the road, which makes it more likely that they will be hit by drivers.
  2. A wheelchair user has to find a dropped kerb, which may be several hundred meters away, to cross the road or reroute round the obstruction. If they travel in the road itself, drivers are less likely to notice them because they are wider and lower down than a walking pedestrian. They also have to spend longer in the road itself because of the distance between dropped kerbs.  

Who are we?

Sarah

Sarah is a visually impaired woman from Leicester who travels mostly by walking with her guide dog Kiki. Sarah volunteers with charities to support other visually impaired people and campaigns to keep streets safe and clear of obstructions. 

Doug

Doug is a wheelchair user from West Yorkshire who loves trains and travelling around the UK. Doug campaigns for accessible transport and streets for disabled people and pedestrians. 

Pandemic changes

During the Coronavirus lockdown there have been widespread reports in the media (BBC, Guardian, Sky News) about more drivers speeding on quieter roads. Disabled people have reported more instances of obstructed pavements as it appears that Local Authorities and Police forces have not been able to attempt even the usual low levels of enforcement activities.

Disabled people are therefore currently at even greater risk than usual from obstructed pavements as they make necessary journeys to travel to work, access medical care, get food and medicines, and try to get some daily exercise. Schemes to widen pavements and alter roadways for social distancing purposes have often been poorly accessible.

Government guidance

As the government planned to ease restrictions, they issued guidelines to local authorities about making changes to infrastructure to increase walking and cycling to reduce demand on public transport. There was only one brief reference to disabled people in the guidance, and no consideration of what disabled people need.

What we are raising money for

We believe that the government has failed to deal with the problem of pavement obstruction and that its guidance about Coronavirus infrastructure changes may be unlawful. We need to raise funds to carry out research and seek legal advice on whether there are grounds to challenge the government.

We will need £3,000 to obtain initial legal advice from specialist lawyers, write a pre-action letter to the government setting out our proposed grounds of challenge and to consider their response. We have set a stretch target of £7,500 to fund preparation of a legal claim, if the issue can’t be resolved in correspondence.

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Update 3

Sarah Leadbetter and Doug Paulley

Aug. 5, 2020

Initial target met!

We have met our initial £3,000 target!

Thank you to everyone who donated and shared this #Pavements4Pedestrians crowdfunder. Every single donation, share and kind comment has been greatly appreciated, especially at this uncertain time.

Our solicitors, Rook Irwin Sweeney (RIS) will now be able to fund specialist legal work and be able to engage in pre-legal correspondence. This might not sound like much, but is vitally important and often quite successful in resolving issues.

We will update you all when we can. Keep your fingers crossed that the government is open to making effective changes that improve access and safety for all pedestrians! 

Update 2

Sarah Leadbetter and Doug Paulley

July 30, 2020

Last push to initial target

9 days to go, we can do this!

Update 1

Sarah Leadbetter and Doug Paulley

July 13, 2020

Great start to Pavement Obstructions Campaign!

We're delighted to see such amazing progress over the last two days, taking us to nearly 45% of our initial target.. 

Some of you will have seen our campaign moved to the stretch target after a surprise £2,000 donation. However we believe this was someone adding the zero zero pence while trying to donate £20, which would be a very expensive and frightening mistake. We talked to CrowdJustice who have quickly reversed this donation to avoid the money being taken off the donor's credit card and are liaising with them to check what amount they meant to donate.

So we're still a way from our initial target and would benefit from as many people sharing this campaign through your online and offline networks as possible.

Please share the Crowdfunder link https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/pavement-parking-and-obstructi/ in social media posts using the hashtag #Pavements4Pedestrians with photo or video examples of pavement obstructions to show how common this is. Please also describe your images or videos using the official alt-text options, add captions if you can, and describe the visuals and sound or speech in the body of your posts to make them as accessible as possible. Here's an example tweet from @NatalyaDell at https://twitter.com/natalyadell/status/1282710064013488128 which links to a video of Sarah and Kiki her guide dog, being disabled by pavement obstructions.

We're especially keen to let people outside disability communities know about this campaign, as pavement-obstructions affect many people including for example caregivers trying to navigate pavements with buggies or walking hand-in-hand with small children who have discovered the delights of walking! So please do share with your families and other networks too.

Keep our pavements for pedestrians!

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