Disabled man warns of danger in Chesterfield as cars parked on pavements forces wheelchair users into the road
A disabled Chesterfield man has warned of danger and chaos over the number of parked cars on pavements in the town which are forcing wheelchair users into the road.
Tony Rawson, 54, lives in Boythorpe and uses a mobility scooter or wheelchair to get around the neighbourhood after he lost his leg to sepsis in 2019 following an assault in an alleyway.
He’s shared how difficult it is to stay safe in Walton Drive, due to an increasing number of drivers parking their vehicles on the pavement which prevents his wheelchair from getting through, forcing him to leave the path and go into the road to avoid the obstruction.
Tony added this is made harder by a lack of dropped kerbs which make it harder for him to mount and dismount the pavement.
He has also been forced to shower outside for over two years following council delays to adapt his home.
The 54-year-old is calling for more to be done by the local authorities and the police to tackle the illegal parking which he says is also causing problems for blind and partially sighed people, along with parents with pushchairs with schools close by.
"Where I live it is just terrible for parking", he said.
"Vehicles are parked on the pavements everyday, they even park on the grass across from us at the side of bungalows which they shouldn't do but they do.
"It's difficult for me to get around, I'm having to get someone to move the bins and if it's parking, having to get off the pavement then onto the road and then back onto the pavement."
Tony is urging for more parking spaces to be built in the area, along with an increased number of traffic wardens to fine drivers parking illegally.A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “We’d always urge everyone to park carefully and considerately, especially where parking is limited.
”Our civil parking enforcement officers can only issue penalty charge notices where there are enforceable restrictions in place, such as double/single yellow lines, or where there are dropped crossing areas.
"Where there are no enforceable parking restrictions in place, then it is for the Police to determine if a vehicle is parked causing obstruction - this is an offence for which the Police have enforcement powers.”
In a statement, Derbyshire police commented: “Carelessly parked vehicles around junctions and on pavements can reduce visibility for drivers and pedestrians.
"This can force wheelchair users or people with pushchairs onto the road and put their safety at risk.
“While parking on the pavement it is not illegal as such, it could lead to an offence of obstruction if the vehicle would stop a pedestrian, pushchair or wheelchair user from passing by safely on the pavement.
“Parking issues are handled by a mixture of local authority and police powers, depending on the situation, and we are responsible for dangerous parking or obstruction.
“Our Safer Neighbourhood officers are aware of issues and concerns around parking and carry out patrols.
“We urge motorists to park with care and consideration for other road users and to help us keep the road safe for all members of the community.”
People can report parking issues online by visiting https://www.derbyshire.police.uk/ro/report/asb/asb/report-antisocial-behaviour/.
More information about parking is available here: https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/transport-roads/roads-traffic/parking/parking-enforcement/civil-parking-enforcement-cpe.aspx.