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Government urged to end inaction over pavement parking
More than 95 per cent of people with sight loss have been forced to walk in the road due to a car parked on the pavement.

Report shows impact of pavement parking on a wide number of pedestrians 

UK charity Guide Dogs is calling on the government to introduce a new law to limit pavement parking to areas only permitted by local authorities.

The call comes as the charity publishes a report highlighting the wide array of people affected by pavement parking and the impact it has on their everyday lives.

Blocked In: The Impact of Pavement Parking reveals that nine in 10 people with disabilities, mobility scooter users and parents or carers with pushchairs have reported issues with pavement parking.

It also shows that people with sight loss are particularly affected, with more than 95 per cent of those surveyed saying they have been forced to walk in the road, potentially into traffic they cannot see.

Guide Dogs says that, despite promises made in 2015 for a pavement parking ban, the Government has failed to act. Senior public affairs and campaigns manager Helen Honstvet said: 

“Today’s findings reflect the everyday impact pavement parking has on a wide number of pedestrians, which was acknowledged in September’s Transport Select Committee inquiry. It’s been over 1,500 days since the Government promised to look into the issue, and they still haven’t published their findings.
“We are urgently calling on the Government to introduce a new law limiting pavement parking to areas determined by local authorities. This system has been in place in London for over 40 years, and our report shows that in London, far fewer people with sight loss faced daily problems with pavement parking compared with the rest of the UK.”

When Guide Dogs come across an obstacle they are trained to guide their owner to the kerb. However, it is then up to the owner to decide when it is safe to step into the road.

The report found that one in five people blind or partially sighted people have sustained injuries trying to get around a vehicle blocking pavements. Guide dog owner Linda Parsons from Peterborough said that she frequently experiences issues with pavement parking:

“People park their cars in such a way they are completely blocking the path so I’m forced to walk in the road," she said.

"I’ve tripped and been injured when I’ve tried passing a car blocking the pavement. There have even been times when I’ve asked the driver who is parked on the pavement to move their car and been told to walk in the road like everybody else, despite the fact I’m clearly with my guide dog.”

Ms Honstvet added: “While pavement parking may be convenient for drivers, it acts as an immediate physical barrier to some of the most vulnerable in society and can lead to some people feeling lonely and isolated from their local communities.”

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Celebrity chefs urge public to get baking to support Cats Protection fundraiser

News Story 1
 In support of Cats Protection's Pawsome Afternoon Tea fundraiser, Masterchef winner Tim Anderson and Great British Bake Off star Kim-Joy have shared biscuit recipes to help keen bakers raise money for needy cats across April.

The celebrity chefs are both cat owners and have said that they hope this fundraiser will help to raise awareness of cats in need and the importance of adopting a cat, rather than buying one.

This is the fourth year Cats Protection has run its Pawsome Afternoon Tea campaign, which encourages people to hold tea parties, bake sales and fundraising events to help raise money for the charity.

To view the recipes and other fundraising resources please visit the Cats Protection website. 

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News Shorts
BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.