A ‘blind’ walk in aid of Guide Dogs campaign

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Two city politicians took part in a unique campaign to experience what it would be like to be blind.

Councillor Margaret Burke and parliamentary candidate for Milton Keynes North, Emily Darlington, took part in the Guide Dogs campaign in New Bradwell to highlight the problems faced by residents who are blind or partially sighted.

More than 5,000 people in Milton Keynes live with sight loss and often are forced into the road by street clutter, overhanging trees and branches or cars parked up on the pavement.

Councillor Burke said: “Being able to get an insight into the experience of partially sighted people on our pavements has strengthened my resolve to continue campaigning on getting cars to stop blocking the pavements and pressuring the council to fix our roads and broken paving stones.”

Miss Darlington, said: “Cars parked on the pavement has always been a complaint of mine as I often have my daughter in a pushchair but it is even more terrifying if you are forced on to the road without being able to see.

“I am happy to support the Guide Dogs’ Streets Ahead campaign and I hope this campaign will get people to thinking twice.”

Research carried out by Guide Dogs found that 65 per cent of blind and partially sighted people have tripped on broken or cracked pavements or injured themselves on street clutter.

Eddie Rimmer, a Bradville resident and Guide Dogs volunteer, said: “I was really encouraged by Emily and Margaret’s willingness to try the experience.

“I hope that it will galvanise them into supporting the campaign now that they have experienced a bit of our lives.”

Joel Young, Guide Dogs Community Engagement Officer for Milton Keynes, said: “Unnecessary, inconsistently placed street clutter and cars that park on pavements cause real problems not just for people with sight loss but also for people that use wheelchairs and mobility scooters to get around as well as parents with pushchairs.”