Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwick High Street 'too dangerous' for blind people

Warwick High Street has become too dangerous for blind and partially sighted people, charities claim.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and Warwickshire Association for the Blind have safety concerns over a new road layout.

The "shared space" junction creates an area where neither pedestrians or vehicles have right of way.

Warwickshire County Council said the system was designed to improve the experience for people in the town.

Vaughan Rees, a blind resident of Warwick, said he was almost knocked over by a car when he and his wife tried to use one of the crossing areas earlier this month.

"The town centre has become a no-go area," he said.

Calls for crossing

Rebecca Swift, RNIB campaigns officer for the West Midlands, said the charity had sent a letter to the council asking for a controlled crossing to be installed.

She said: "The main issue is they've actually taken out the designated crossing point and this makes it extremely frightening for blind and partially sighted people to get across the road."

Ms Swift said if a controlled crossing was not installed, the charity will support people to take legal action against the council.

The authority said it had worked with a number of groups to help develop the scheme.

In a statement it said: "The principle aim of the project was to improve the experience for all in moving around the town.

"We are considering the letter from RNIB and will respond to it in due course. We are unable to comment further at this stage."

A shared space junction was installed in Coventry in October 2011 and a recent report found the lower speed limit of 20mph had helped reduce accidents in the area.

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