Planners urged to heed advice on Preston's Adelphi scheme
Preston charities have urged planners to remember the needs of the blind and visually impaired community ahead of a major scheme.
Representatives from a number of organisations met with county council and university counterparts last week as part of a consultation for the Adelphi quarter masterplan.
As part of the University of Central Lancashire’s £200m vision, the current roundabout is to be transformed into a “vibrant” pedestrianised area.
Stuart Clayton, of Preston based Galloway’s Society for the Blind, said his colleagues voiced concerns about pedestrian crossings, markings between kerbs and cycle lanes.
He told the Lancashire Post: “It was a very productive meeting and we hope our messages were taken on board.
“We are calling for controlled crossings, uncontrolled crossings - which rely on eye-contact between pedestrians and drivers - just aren’t suitable.”
Mr Clayton added that members of the blind and visually impaired community are staying away from Fishergate due its shared space scheme.
He said the marking between pavement and road areas is not clear enough, particularly in wet weather. Adding: “This is about people’s safety across an area of public space.”
Further design details for the long-anticipated Adelphi Quarter plans - first revealed in 2015 - are expected in the next few months with a new road network in place.
Dave Smith, Director of Capital Projects at the University of Central Lancashire, said: “The forum provided an excellent opportunity for University representatives and designers to explain the masterplan’s objectives and to understand the concerns of the partially sighted and blind community in the Preston area.
“Consultation and collaboration with all sectors of the local community is ongoing and an important feature of good and thoughtful design to ensure the needs and desires of local residents are considered during the design process.”
Phil Barrett, Lancashire County Council's director of community services, said: "We're working with UCLan to ensure that the Adelphi Square scheme is safe and accessible for everyone to use, and will consider all issues which have been raised during the consultation."