Safer streets for blind

Tactile paving at a zebra crossing.
Tactile paving at a zebra crossing.
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Blind people across Lancashire will soon benefit from safer pedestrian crossings.

Lancashire County Council (LCC) is changing its policy on tactile paving - raised bobbles on the ground near crossings in contrasting colours, which help the visually impaired decide where is safe to cross.

Following a High Court decision against the London borough of Newham, LCC has decided to follow national guidance and bring in the paving for all uncontrolled pedestrian crossings, which have no traffic signals for drivers.

Currently, only controlled crossings, such as pelicans, and zebras, have the feature.

Stuart Clayton, chief executive of Penwortham-based Galloway’s Society for the Blind said: “Whilst it has taken a High Court decision against another Council for LCC to adhere to the national guidance we are clearly pleased about this important change to the LCC mobility policy.

“We live in a sighted world which means that we are all reliant on visual clues. For people who have been affected by sight loss this can make the issue of getting around a massive challenge and the world a much scarier place.

“At the moment there are many changes to highways taking place in Lancashire, most notably the Fishergate development, and LCC has actively involved Galloway’s in these developments, thus ensuring that issues facing blind and partially sighted people have been considered.”

Some concerns had previously been raised at LCC that the paving could be problematic for people with walking difficulties or in wheelchairs.

LCC said costs incurred would be “modest”.