This week Transport for London (TfL) invited us to go and inspect the new darker grey tactile paving slabs at the top of Judd Street which they are using to replace the light grey tactile slabs that they installed in March 2019. So, the new tactile paving is still not red and, therefore, not in line with national guidance. TfL have now re-done the tactile paving in this area three times, increasing the cost and timeline of the project, but still not managing to get it right for the blind and partially sighted pedestrians who will be using these crossings to access key services at our RNIB office on Judd Street.
We have conducted a further walkabout of the Judd Street, Midland Road and Euston Road area to check out the new pedestrian controlled crossing button boxes, as well as the situation with a conspicuous absence of rotating tactile cones – which should be on every pedestrian controlled crossing button box. These only appear to be installed on one side of road crossings in the area rather than on both sides of the road. Without a rotating cone, how will blind and partially sighted people know it is safe to cross?
After some toing and froing with TfL, they did agree to put some permanent safety signs up along Judd Street to warn cyclists that blind and partially sighted people frequently use the road and to cycle with due care. Even though the construction work for the Judd Street cycle way is still not finished, there are already a lot more cyclists using the street, so these signs would be helpful… But as of yet, no sign of the safety signs.
We are sticking to our guns with TfL about the red tactile, and will continue to remind them that the national guidelines say this should be red, not grey, and why this is so important to partially sighted pedestrians.
We are working hard to keep the lines of communication open with Camden Council and TfL, but getting responses from them has not been particularly easy. There is still no word from Camden as to the likely completion date for the cycle way construction work. We will continue to ask important questions about pedestrian crossings, accessibility and tactile.
One of the key issues we have been asking TfL and Camden about is how exactly they will be monitoring the impact of the new cycle way once it is finished. As we have not received a satisfactory answer to this yet, we are exploring ways to monitor this ourselves, so if you would like to have your say about this then stay posted for more details shortly!
In the meantime, if you have recently visited Judd Street, Midland Road or the Judd Street / Euston Road intersection and noticed any of the issues described here, or just want to let us know about your experience, or want to join the official walk-over when the scheme is complete, please get in touch…
Find out more about our campaigning work on inclusive journeys. You can also contact us directly by emailing [email protected], following us on Twitter at @RNIB_Campaigns or calling the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999.