Seeing London’s streets differently

Post date: 
Friday, 14 February 2020
Category: 
Campaigning
Inclusive journeys
Image of RNIB Policy and Campaign Manager Hugh Huddy standing on a pavement, next to three dockless bikes lying on their sides.

A video by the Londonist follows our Campaign Manager Hugh Huddy near our London office. It shows the difficulties faced by blind and partially sighted people when walking, but we’re pleased that it’s certainly got people thinking.

Dockless bikes obstructing the pavement. An undetectable kerb levelled flat with the road. A cycle path on the pavement which bypasses a bus stop, without a detectable kerb between pedestrians and cyclists, or an accessible crossing.

These are the difficulties which Hugh comes across, and which we frequently hear about from blind and partially sighted campaigners and members of the public. So we made this video with the Londonist to give blind and partially sighted people a voice, which usually isn’t heard. 

 

Responses to the video

We’re really pleased by how the video has been received, and it shows the importance of hearing people speak up about their experiences. 

Comments on the Londonist YouTube channel include:

  • “Well done Londonist! You are bringing light to a subject people never consider.”
  • “This is so important to take into account while planning roads / pavements.”
  • “Really interesting video. There's so much we sighted people just don't even think about in our environment. Thanks.”
  • “Fantastic - well done!  Such sensible advice to urban planners and all of us out there.”
  • “What a great video. I use a cane and fully agree. It’s not only bikes on pavements but also shop fronts that spill onto the street and other billboards etc. Also cars and vans parked on pavements.”

Seeing differently and recognising barriers to inclusion

We work to increase understanding, so that people see differently about sight loss. It’s great that it’s having an effect, and that barriers to accessible walking can be better understood. You can hear more experiences of inaccessible streets, in a video we made for a previous campaign called Safe to Cross.

Being able to walk safely and make independent journeys is fundamental to being an active member of society. This is what inclusive street design needs to achieve.

What do you think?

Please do share the video, and let us know what you think on Twitter at @RNIB_Campaigns. You can also give us feedback at [email protected] or by calling our helpline on 0303 123 9999.