The blind people's charity Guide Dogs has demanded that cash is not 'wasted' by creating shared space between people and traffic in famous museum street Exhibition Road in Kensington.
The charity, which aims to promote the interests of blind and partially sighted people, would like 'reassurances that taxpayers money will not be wasted on a street design concept that has been proven to discriminate against large sections of the community.'
The group believes that shared space - in which roads and pavements are built at the same level with little or no markings between areas for vehicles and pedestrians - endangers blind people.
Shared space is expected to play a key part in the multi-million pound Exhibition Road scheme, which aims to upgrade the area surrounding the Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. It has formed a keystone of other council schemes, such as the redesign of Kensington High Street.
Bill Mount, lead officer for the Exhibition Road Project for Kensington and Chelsea Council said: "We are committed to making Exhibition Road accessible, safe and enjoyable for everyone.
"We have established an Access Group that includes Guide Dogs for the Blind and RNIB and are working closely with them to ensure the needs of all disability groups - in particular those with limited mobility and the visually impaired - are carefully considered in the design.
"A gulley along the east side of Exhibition Road will alert the visually impaired to the potential of oncoming traffic, while on the western side a guidance tactile will be incorporated into the surface to indicate a safe pedestrian route, with clear crossing points."
Meanwhile, work has started to unravel the one-way system around South Kensington Station, marking the first step in the project to transform the area.
This involves removing kerbs and traffic islands no longer required, with a switch over to two-way traffic expected in June.
Deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, Cllr Daniel Moylan, said: "This marks an exciting and significant step in the ambitious project to transform Exhibition Road."