However it’s important these changes are made in a way that keeps streets accessible for blind and partially sighted people.
Changes included in the announcement are accelerated roll-out of e-scooters – which could be with us as early as June, pop up cycleways, and widened pavements. It’s intended to encourage more people to walk and cycle while social distancing measures are in place.
While it’s great news that more people will be walking and cycling to work, and there’ll be less pollution in the air, we want to make sure this new program of work is thought-through and accessibility is maintained for blind and partially sighted people:
We are particularly concerned that E-Scooters are being rolled out without us having been able to raise concerns from the blind and partially sighted community about these vehicles. We have been compiling evidence on this and are disappointed that this has not been taken into account when making this decision.
Social distancing is extremely difficult for blind and partially sighted people, making it difficult or impossible for people with sight loss to get outside to make essential journeys or exercise during the coronavirus outbreak. It is essential that people are aware that not all disabilities are visible and to be considerate to other pedestrians who may have hidden disabilities.
That’s why we are calling for the introduction of a Coronavirus Courtesy Code to enable safe social distancing for all road users. We want to make sure that people can: