Lockdowns as a result of coronavirus are starting to be eased across the world. Since the pandemic began, we have seen changes made to street layouts, largely to encourage cycling so that people don’t have to use public transport and the roll-out of rental e-scooter schemes.
We want to ensure that any changes to our streets that may appear across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales allow blind and partially sighted people and those with other disabilities to still safely get around and to cross the roads using pedestrian crossing facilities.We also want to ensure that e-scooter schemes do not negatively impact on blind or partially sighted pedestrians. You can read our advice to local authorities and e-scooter operators below, along with ways you can get involved and support our campaigns to make our streets safe for everyone.
It is also important that public transport is safe and accessible, as blind or partially sighted people are more likely to rely on it to get to work, health appointments, the shops, or just to meet friends. We are currently urging the Department of Transport and Network Rail to prioritise the installation of tactile paving along station platforms were it is missing, as they are a crucial safety feature for passengers with sight loss. Find out how you can help below.
We’re campaigning to make railway stations safe for blind and partially sighted people
Blind and partially sighted people face increased risk at rail stations all over the country. Last year, a partially sighted man was struck and killed by a train after falling onto the track from a platform with no tactile surface, likely because he wasn’t aware he was close to the edge. This is unacceptable, and it is not an isolated incident.
Read about our campaign which is urging Network Rail and the Department of Transport to make railway stations safe for blind and partially sighted people as quickly as possible.
Advice for Local Authorities and e-scooter operators participating in rental e-scooter trials.
As rental e-scooter trials get underway, it is essential that these schemes do not undermine the confidence and independence of blind and partially sighted pedestrians.
Now's our chance to share our concerns about e-scooter rental schemes
Rental e-scooter schemes are underway in many parts of England. The government’s official evaluation of the rental schemes is being carried out right now. This means it’s a critical time for you to share your experiences.
We really need the voices of blind or partially sighted pedestrians to be heard before decisions are made on future rules guiding the use of e-scooters. Your feedback will be anonymous but we will share it with the Department for Transport.
As councils make changes to local infrastructure to encourage walking and cycling, it is as important as ever that accessibility is maintained for blind and partially sighted people, that's why we have shared our advice with councils to help them make sure any changes to our streets are accessible.