Shared-surface developments are 'no-go for blind people'

A coalition of disability charities is trying to prevent local authorities from introducing kerb-free pavements and roads that lie on the same level.

Tom Pey, director of external affairs at Guide Dogs for the Blind, will tell a gathering in Leeds tomorrow that modern 'shared-surface' developments are becoming no-go areas for blind and partially sighted people.

He will tell a conference on street planning and design, organised by the Yorkshire branch of the Royal Town Planning Institute: "Using shared surfaces relies on negotiating priority and movement between vehicles and pedestrians through eye contact. This puts blind and partially sighted people like me at an immediate disadvantage.

"From childhood we are all taught to stop at the kerb. When you introduce design concepts with no kerb, we are all put at risk."

Pey will ask planners to halt shared-surface developments and heed the charity's research into its dangers.

The coalition includes Leonard Cheshire, Arthritis Care, the RNID and Mencap.

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