Accessible streets for everyone
Being able to get around safely is important for everyone, but much of our transport - and even our streets – is still inaccessible. RNIB campaigns to make our streets and public transport safe and accessible to all.
We can all play our part to make our streets more accessible and inclusive so everyone can use our streets independently. You can find out more about our work to make our streets inclusive for everyone below.
We're campaigning to make railway stations safe for blind and partially sighted people
People with sight loss face increased risk at rail stations all over the country. In 2020, a partially sighted man was struck and killed by a train after falling onto the tracks from a platform with no tactile surface. He likely wasn’t aware just how close he was to the edge. This is unacceptable, and it is not an isolated incident.
We are currently urging the Department of Transport and Network Rail to prioritise the installation of tactile paving along all station platforms where it is missing.
Colourful crossings – a growing trend
Colourful crossings, which replace traditional black and white road markings with multicoloured patterns and shapes, are a growing trend, often introduced to celebrate an event, a community or to encourage tourism.
We want to be clear - we fully support the representation of all communities across the UK on our streets, as long as, new street designs are accessible to everyone.
Pedestrian crossings are essential to the safety of all pedestrians, particularly people with sight loss, who often struggle to detect moving vehicles and judge gaps in traffic.
For blind and partially sighted people, the consistency and predictability of signage is fundamental to being able to navigate safely and independently. The majority of people with sight loss still have some sight, and designs and colours used on pedestrian crossings which are not consistent with traditional designs could cause confusion and risk safety.
The use of black and white in traditional pedestrian crossings offer high contrast which is essential for people with low vision to detect them and stay on course when crossing roads. We have also heard accounts from people with light sensitivity who find the artwork painful to look at and from guide dog users who reported that the crossings confuse their dogs.
We want all councils considering installing pedestrian crossings in any design or colour to conduct thorough Equality Impact Assessments, including for blind and partially sighted people. No installation should start before all safety concerns have been fully addressed.
To find out more about our concerns, please read our joint letter to the Mayor of London.
Now's our chance to share our concerns about e-scooter rental schemes
E-scooter rental 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.
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.
We've developed a whole host of resources to help you tackle inaccessible streets in your area.
Street charter toolkit
If you need any support with local Street Charter meetings or want to organise a blindfold walk, just contact your Regional Campaigns Officer.
We have audio CD and braille versions of the 'Who Put That There?' report and the Street Charter, so just get in touch if you would like either of these formats.