New pavement for visually impaired hits a red light in Bamber Bridge

Visually impaired pedestrians sent on a collision course with traffic lights
Visually impaired pedestrians sent on a collision course with traffic lights

Special pavement for the partially-sighted has put pedestrians on a collision course with a traffic light post.

The “tactile” surface in Station Road, Bamber Bridge, is meant to guide the visually impaired to a crossing point in the road

But one shopper declared: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw what they had done. Someone using a stick to feel their way along this strip would walk smack into the lights.”

And the chief executive of Galloway’s Society for the Blind has called on LCC highways bosses to rectify the situation “as a matter of urgency.”

The new pavement is part of a £3.5m scheme to upgrade the town’s main street, with wider pavements, “enhanced” crossings and improved parking. The tactile strip has been laid outside the Age Concern charity shop to help the visually impaired to cross the town’s busiest road junction of Station Road, Collins Road and Brownedge Road.

When the Post visited the site, workmen had installed the paving around the existing traffic light post. A warning cone had been placed next to the post to alert pedestrians to the danger.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “We’re keeping the old traffic lights in place until the new ones are up and running which is why the tactile paving has been laid around the pole – however it will be removed when the new lights are working. We’re grateful for this issue being raised and have now provided full barrier protection around the pole.”

Tactile paving is a textured area of surfacing which is designed to assist visually impaired on footpaths, train station platforms and stairs.

It is designed to alert the pedestrian that they are approaching a road, or a hazardous surface or a steep gradient.

Stuart Clayton, of Galloway’s, said: “It’s hoped that this is a simple construction error which will be rectified as a matter of urgency. If this mistake isn’t acknowledged and rectified quickly, it demonstrates a complete lack of understanding regarding the importance of tactile paving for visually impaired people.”