Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan saw the fun side of the Conservative party conference last week by putting around street clutter on Guide Dogs’ mini golf course to raise awareness of their Streets Ahead campaign on keeping streets free from clutter.
Street clutter, such as shop advertising boards and wheelie bins, is a real blight on the UK streetscape and a major problem for pedestrians. It is dangerous and disorientating for blind and partially sighted people – a recent Guide Dogs survey found 97% of visually impaired respondents reported finding it a problem on a daily or weekly basis, 57% had suffered an injury from street clutter and 9% had to receive medical treatment.
To tackle cars parked on pavements, the most common concern, Guide Dogs is campaigning for a nationwide law prohibiting pavement parking, unless specifically permitted, as currently in place in Greater London. This will help get rid of this barrier to mobility and encourage blind and partially sighted people to get out and about on their own.
Nicky Morgan said “This was a fun way to spread this serious message. Street clutter has the potential to deter blind and partially sighted people from leaving home alone.
“Whilst Loughborough isn’t one of the worst offenders for the amount street clutter, there is always more that could be done. That is why I am happy to support Guide Dogs’ call for safer pedestrian footpaths.”
James White, Guide Dogs’ Campaigns Manager, said: “We’re delighted to have Nicky’s support for our campaign. Our streets should be safe and accessible for all pedestrians.”