Highlighting the risks of street changes with local authorities

Post date: 
Thursday, 28 May 2020
Inclusive journeys
Image of a pavement that has been extended into the road with cones separating the two areas.

We’ve written to every local council in England to raise concerns over street changes, such as pop-up cycleways, widened pavements and the accelerated roll out of e-scooters, without proper consultation. 

The Government has announced £250m for changes to street design to encourage more walking and cycling. However, it’s important these changes are made in a way that keeps streets accessible for blind and partially sighted people.

Add your voice 

The letter

In the letter to local transport leads, Matt Stringer, RNIB Chief Executive, highlights the importance of maintaining or improving the accessibility of road layouts for blind and partially sighted people, who are more likely to rely on walking journeys than the general population.  

Matt also shares our advice on how to ensure changes rolled out as part of these street design changes don’t compromise accessibility. 

What’s happened so far

We are pleased to say, we have received some very positive responses from many local councils, with assurances that accessibility will be included in any changes to street layouts.

One councillor shared our concerns about the roll out of e-scooters and was keen to hear more about the problems they present to people with sight loss. The councillor was keen to inform their approach to this new form of transport on our streets.

Others have expressed an interest in working with us on best practice to ensure the accessibility of any changes.

Our Regional Campaigns Officers will be working hard locally to take these issues forward.

What’s next

If you want to make sure your local council is taking notice, you can help by using our online tool to send a pre-written letter to your councillor. It only takes two minutes, and by demonstrating that this issue is important to you locally, you could help make sure all changes to our streets are accessible for everyone.

Take action

We are gathering the views of blind and partially sighted people on these issues via our survey and the results will inform our response to two upcoming government consultations on e-scooters, and our future transport campaigning work.

While it’s great news that more people will be walking and cycling to work, we want to make sure this new programme of work is thought-through and accessibility is maintained for blind and partially sighted people.  We will keep you updated.