Edinburgh City Council: ‘Spaces for People’ project ‘hazardous’ for people with sight loss, says Miles Briggs MSP

A local MSP has urged Edinburgh City Council to review its “Spaces for People” project, after safety concerns were raised by a sight loss charity.

Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 6:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 6:05 pm

Guide Dogs Scotland highlighted concerns around the use of “floating bus stops” that require pedestrians to step into the road before and after they board public transport.

It also urged the Council to ensure partially sighted people are properly notified of any changes to road layouts, including use of accessible maps online.

Lothian MSP, Miles Briggs called on Council leaders to “take on board” the guidance.

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A local MSP has urged Edinburgh City Council to review its “Spaces for People” project, after safety concerns were raised by a sight loss charity. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)

“From the outset Edinburgh City Council has failed to consult with local residents and must now act and take on board this guidance from Guide Dogs Scotland and fully consult with those who are visually impaired,” he said.

“Floating bus stops and bus borders are issues which have been highlighted as especially hazardous for people who have sight loss and these real concerns must be addressed urgently.”

Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “The needs of vulnerable road users are central to Spaces for People schemes – our number one priority is to ensure their safety.

“One of the first principles is to keep the footways clear of obstructions to aid pedestrian movement.

“Every single intervention is assessed for its impact on people with disabilities or visual impairments and stakeholders including RNIB, Edinburgh Access Panel, Living Streets and Spokes are involved in our notification process for each scheme.

“Their feedback is taken into account and addressed before any changes are made.”

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