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Town centres to become no-go area for people with sight loss - Guide Dogs responds to new survey

Guide Dogs

1 min read Partner content

The charity Guide Dogs responds to a new survey published today highligting the impact of shared spaces on pedestrians.

Lord Holmes’ survey highlights once again the lack of accessibility of shared surface schemes for people with disabilities, particularly those with sight loss.  Shared surfaces work on a ‘courtesy’ system which relies on eye contact between the pedestrian and driver, making them extremely problematic for people with vision impairments – a “death trap” in the words of one blind respondent to Lord Holmes’ survey – and without the clear delineation of a kerb the distinction between road and pavement areas becomes extremely difficult to judge. 

For busy town centres to become a virtual no-go area for people with sight loss or other disabilities potentially represents a real step back for equality and accessibility, which is why Guide Dogs wholeheartedly supports Lord Holmes’ recommendations for a moratorium on shared space schemes while impact assessments are conducted, accessibility audits of all shared space schemes, and for updated guidance for Local Authorities to better understand their responsibilities under the Equalities Act.

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