The new rules were outlined today by Pere Navarro, Director General of Traffic, in his official presentation of the latest campaign on behalf of wheelchair users – “I can’t go here, I can’t fit through there” (Por aquí no Puedo, por aquí no Paso) promoted by the Association of People with Spinal Injuries & Severe Physical Disabilities (ASPAYM).
“Pavements are for pedestrians, wheelchair users and for people pushing prams and pushchairs,” he said, “and our intention is that vehicles such as scooters will not use them in any capacity.”
“Current regulations prevent scooters and bikes travelling along the pavements, but we also want to prevent them parking there too,” he added.
With this in mind, he stressed the need to reduce the number of parking spaces for cars in order to allow spaces for scooters, bicycles and motorcycles to park, away from the pavements.
The Director-General of Traffic praised ASPAYM for its recent campaign and highlighted the fact that in addition to wheelchair users “there are nine million people over 65 who need to walk for health reasons and who also want the pavements to be free of obstacles.”
“It is true that obstacles are everywhere,” he continued, “and sometimes we are not aware of the amount of space taken up by lamposts, traffic lights, road signs and bins, not to mention advertising hoardings or outside seating for bars and cafés”.
In his opinion “the challenge is to design a pole that can combine street lighting with traffic lights, road signs and rubbish collection” and that this requires “imagination and the kind of vision you get from a wheelchair rather than from the comfort of an office”.
The primary objectives of this latest campaign are to appeal to society as a whole to adopt safe and responsible behaviour in public spaces in order to promote a harmonious coexistence of different road and pavement users in an attempt to prevent traffic accidents.