DURING National Road Safety Week (November 10-16) Guide Dogs is asking local authorities to listen to the traditional road safety message that we are taught from childhood of Stop, Look, and Listen - but it has a twist!
Guide Dogs is campaigning against the development of 'shared surface' areas in towns and cities across the country,which are putting the lives and safety of blind and partially sighted people at risk.
Shared surfaces - often introduced as part of shared space street designs - are built with roads and pavements at the same level, with little or no demarcation between areas for vehicles and pedestrians.
We are asking local authorities to stop implementing shared surfaces, look for alternative design solutions that are accessible to all local people and listen to our concerns.
To navigate a shared surface, pedestrians, motorists and cyclists need to negotiate priority of movement through making eye contact, automatically placing blind and partially sighted people,young children, elderly people,and people with learning and mobility difficulties at a very real disadvantage.
How can children be taught to stop at a kerb if the kerb is not there?
We invite your readers to join our campaign for safe,attractive streets that are accessible to all of us.
Please write to your local authority and ask that they stop the introduction of any shared surface schemes in the local area and listen to the needs of everyone in your community.Further information can be found at www.guidedogs.org.uk/sharedsurfaces
director of external affairs, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association,
Burghfield Common, Reading.