Making public places safer must be a priority

Posted: March 7, 2017

Ensuring safety in public spaces should be a key area of focus for local authorities, organisations or brands.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of our work we often see examples of when this is not the case, and in the most extreme circumstances we have identified situations where members of the public with a disability are being put in danger.

There are many factors in ensuring safety in public places, but a recent project we have been involved in is reviewing the safe implementation of crossing points and dropped kerbs.

Documents published by the Department for Transport, among other organisations, already specify what arrangements should be made with regards the type of tactile surface that should be used at crossings.

The key element of a tactile surface at a crossing point, is that the surface – which consists of flat-top domes or blisters to indicate they are there – should be lined up in the direction of travel. 

The crossing point, or dropped kerb, should also line up directly with another one on the opposite side of the road.

But, sometimes they don’t.

It means that people who use the blisters to align themselves in the direction of travel may be directed to some other point on the opposite kerb.

In some instances, we have even identified some dropped kerbs and crossings that are directing people into the centre of traffic.

Part of being able to provide excellent customer service is understanding what your users need and asking what would it be like in their shoes.

Especially in these areas, in which public safety is the issue, more consideration should be made to ensure the needs of the community are being met.

If you like to share your thoughts, ask for specific information, or find out more about our work please contact the team at businesslink@rnib.org.uk or call 01733 375 370.