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Road safety concerns lead to changes for UK’s flagship shared space scheme

The Royal National Institute of Blind People has been invited to review proposed changes to the UK’s flagship shared space scheme after road safety concerns.

Kensington and Chelsea Council is holding the consultation on Thursday 18 April to review proposed measures to ‘protect pedestrians’ and ‘improve crossing visibility’ on Exhibition Road.

Ahead of the consultation, Sarah Lambert, Head of Social Change at RNIB, said: “The Council’s decision to introduce safety measures to this flagship shared space scheme is further evidence that shared space schemes are dangerous and don’t work.

“Levelled surface areas like shared space developments fail people with sight loss. By removing controlled crossings, kerbs and tactile paving, they remove the tools that blind and partially people, and trained guide dogs, rely on to navigate streets safely and puts them at risk of straying into the path of oncoming traffic.

“Government intervention has already paused new shared space developments in busy town and city centres, but there are still shared space schemes across the UK – like Exhibition Road – that need to be redeveloped. We hope the start of these discussions means the beginning of the end of shared space schemes.”

Notes to editors

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Every six minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight. RNIB is taking a stand against exclusion, inequality and isolation to create a world without barriers where people with sight loss can lead full lives. A different world where society values blind and partially sighted people not for the disabilities they’ve overcome, but for the people they are.

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