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RNIB: Seeing streets differently

How changes to our streets and vehicles are affecting the lives of blind and partially sighted people.

We welcome the research and the report recently published by the RNIB to help raise awareness and hear about the personal experiences of blind and partially sighted people using our streets.

The RNIB says walking journeys are fundamentally important for blind and partially sighted people to live with independence.

General Manager & Head of Access at Level Playing Field Ruth Hopkins said: “As part of a large access project, I have been reading up on accessible routes and this included pedestrian routes in the public domain and the barriers many disabled people face.

“Worryingly, there has been an increasing trend in towns recently to have ‘shared spaces’ where traffic and pedestrians use the same space with minimum definition. These routes can be challenging for disabled people.”

  • An absence of clearly defined kerbs and crossing points can be confusing for guide dogs and assistance dogs.
  • Silent (electric) vehicles increase the risk of accidents, particularly for blind and partially sighted pedestrians. (“Pedestrians with sight loss are 40% more likely to be hit by a quiet hybrid or electric car than one with a petrol or diesel engine” – Guide Dogs Association)

Click HERE to access RNIB’s Seeing Streets Differently report

The RNIB website also lists 14 things you can do to make our streets more inclusive.