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Transport (Scotland) Bill

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 10th October 2019.

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Photo of Sandra White Sandra White Scottish National Party

I have only four minutes. I am sorry.

We heard real horror stories during the consultation, when we went out to meet people and when we met people in the Parliament. Every MSP from all the parties—not just me—heard the story of the blind gentleman who was walking along a pavement. His stick snapped against a lorry that was parked on the pavement, and he was absolutely stranded on the pavement for hours, until somebody came along and asked whether they could help him off it.

We heard horror stories involving people with their kids in buggies and prams who had to go off pavements to walk along streets.

I thank the Government, including the cabinet secretary’s predecessor, for looking at my bill and taking it on board, because the issue matters to every single person. It matters more to vulnerable, disabled and older people and people with young families. The bill gives them the independence to be able to move about that every single one of us has. It makes them the same as us and ensures that those people can get out and about.

We heard horror stories of people not being able to get out of the house because they were frightened. People with wheelchairs would get out of the house and come to a dropped kerb with a car parked in front of it. They could not even get to the shops.

Members should look at the bill in its entirety, please. They might not like some of it—indeed, I do not particularly like some of it—but it is important for ordinary people out there to get justice for a change.

We have talked about car owners. I do not want punitive measures; I want education for car owners, because I am sure that they do not want to punish vulnerable people and people who cannot get on to or off pavements. We see people outside with guide dogs with obstacles in their way. Pavements should be for people.

We have worked for years to get the legislation through the Parliament. Please vote for it and ensure that people out there who are suffering and have horrific stories to tell us can get about and say, “I can go out today, and I know that I won’t be stuck on a pavement and that I won’t have to go on the road.”

I cannot wait to see the bill enacted.