Campaign Update: Campaigning in the UK

Post date: 
Friday, 13 April 2018
Photo of a shared space street in Bromley

Ensuring our streets are accessible for all blind and partially sighted people is critical.

We’re challenging the increase in "shared spaces" across the UK.
Some local councils have removed kerbs and controlled crossings to create shared spaces, but which are the only accessible way to cross a road or cycle lane.

Campaign success

In January, strong objections were made by blind and partially sighted people in Preston to a £60 million shared space scheme.
The local council had given the scheme the go-ahead, but after the case was put forward, with the backing of national charities including RNIB and the local society, Galloways, the committee have agreed to install signal control crossings. This agreement however, is no guarantee to action being taken up. Securing the crossings is going to be critical over the next months.
Scottish campaigners are voicing concerns over shared space developments in Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh. For residents of Inverness, an intervention has already secured amendments to planned developments, meaning that city centre pavements will be retained.
Last year in Northern Ireland, we saw a landmark judgment in a judicial review lead by campaigner Joanna Toner against Lisburn City Council. The council are now required to go back to the drawing board on their public space plans and ensure that the needs of blind and partially sighted people are covered.
Finally, in Wales, RNIB Cymru and Guide Dogs are currently working with Cardiff City Council Planning on the design and accessibility of shared space in the development of Central Square.

Get involved in campaigning against shared spaces in your area by visiting our campaign page.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2018 edition of Connect Magazine.

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