Blindfold walk by Chesterfield MP reveals street clutter hazards

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Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has completed a blindfolded walk with a guide dog to raise awareness of the risks of street clutter.

Mr Perkins donned the blindfold on Friday to show how overhanging branches, wheelie bins and cars parked on pavements can be potentially life-threatening for people who are visually impaired.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins wearing a blindfold while being guided by Kevn Rowney while learning about guide dogs.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins wearing a blindfold while being guided by Kevn Rowney while learning about guide dogs.

The Labour politician’s guide dog walk started from his Chesterfield office, headed into town, around the market place and into the shopping precinct.

Mr Perkins was also wearing a pair of glasses which replicate how different eye conditions can affect a person’s vision.

Mr Perkins said: “Despite knowing the area it was very disorientating to wear the simulation specs and I felt quite vulnerable once I had the blindfold on.

“Although I felt confident with the support and assistance of the guide dog it amazed me how many diversions we had to take to avoid obstacles.

“By simply leaving the pavements clear it could make a nicer and safer environment for everyone.”

Kelly France, engagement officer for the Guide Dogs charity, said: “Street clutter is a real problem for people with a visual impairment – everyone has the right to be able to move freely along the street.”

Visit www.guidedogs.org.uk for more information about the charity.