Angus Council improves street conditions for blind residents

Judith robson bins on pavements

​Angus Council has introduced a street charter to improve street safety for residents with sight loss

9th August 2017 by Georgina Harris 0 Comments

Scotland's biggest sight loss charities has helped create a street charter to improve safety for partially sighted people in the Angus Council area.

The charter aims to reduce the number of street hazards that can be dangerous for residents with sight loss. The most common hazards, according to RNIB Scotland and Guide Dogs Scotland, include advertising boards, bollards, bins, cars parked on pavements and shared space schemes.

RNIB surveyed a number of blind and partially sighted people and a third said they had been injured by bumping into things on the pavement as they walked along.

The survey also revealed that some people felt so afraid of injury that they chose to stay at home rather than go outside.

Councillor Bill Duff, member of the roads and planning council committees, said: “Angus Council has a number of measures that can be taken to ensure that pavements are uncluttered and unnecessary obstructions are controlled.”

RNIB Scotland and Guide Dogs Scotland have applauded this decision and its attempt to make it easier for people with sight loss to get round their local area.

Sandra Wilson, chair of RNIB Scotland, who has sight loss herself, said: "We are calling on all local authorities to engage with residents with sight loss and put accessibility at the heart of local planning."

Both charities have also been campaigning for the Scottish Government to strengthen existing legislation to improve conditions for blind and partially sighted people in Scotland.

Under the 1984 Road Scotland Act it is an offence to deliberately obstruct pavements, and the 2010 Equality Act means public authorities have to ensure disabled people aren’t overly disadvantaged in their day to day lives.  

This is an issue affecting lots of people in Scotland – over 170,000 have experienced significant sight loss.