Reading Council have, over the past 18 months, been making changes to some of the junctions in the town. One such change has seen the permanent switching off of traffic lights following an initial trial. This decision was taken by a Council committee on 15 September last year in spite of disabled people clearly showing to Council Officers and Members that it's not possible to cross independently.
The Case finally reached Court on 14 June with the claimant seeking permission to bring a Judicial Review of the Council's decision. This was made on the basis that the new arrangements discriminated against blind and partially sighted people needing to use the crossing and the Council having failed to give proper consideration to their public sector equality duty.
Disappointingly the judge refused to give permission for the case to proceed. His key reasoning was that the steps taken by the Council to consider the needs of blind and partially sighted people were sufficient. On the upside, the case has received significant press coverage of an issue that's increasingly of concern to blind and partially sighted people and hopefully will give other authorities pause for thought before making similar decisions. If you're affected by similar issues in your region, please do get in touch with your Regional Campaigns Officer.