U-turn over crossings

Pictured at Talbot Road., Blackpool. From left,  Kevin Winkley (chief executive-NVision NW), Mark Beetham , Phil Dickinson (Guide Dogs, Nick Gradwell and Brian Casey.
Pictured at Talbot Road., Blackpool. From left, Kevin Winkley (chief executive-NVision NW), Mark Beetham , Phil Dickinson (Guide Dogs, Nick Gradwell and Brian Casey.
0
Have your say

Blackpool council has done a U-turn on one of its shared space style road systems to help people with vision problems.

Improvements are to be made to crossings at the flagship Talbot Gateway Central Business District to help people cross the road more safely.

Since the new road and footpath layout was introduced, fears were raised by a many people about safety at the crossings.

Earlier this year The Gazette reported how blind people and those with low vision found the crossing so dangerous it stopped them coming into the town centre.

Among the concerns raised was the lack of tactile paving to mark a crossing area for blind people.

Blackpool Council has worked with the groups, including N-Vision, the Low Vision Committee, Guide Dogs, the Disability Partnership and the Blackpool Highways Consultative Forum, to discuss the best way to improve the layout.

In doing so, the council took into account the views of all road users including pedestrians, motorists and cyclists and factors like safety, ease of use and cost.

N-Vision also carried out a consultation on the issue.

Now, after lengthy discussions, a solution has now been reached which will see zebra crossings introduced.

They will be put in across Talbot Road between Sainsbury’s and Blackpool North Station, across High Street between Blackpool North Station and Wilkinson’s, across Dickson Road between Wilkinson’s and Ma Kelly’s.

Tactile paving will also be included to help pedestrians while marker studs will also be added to help drivers recognise the crossings.

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’re pleased to have been able to reach an agreement on a solution which, we hope, will work more effectively, making the layout much clearer for all concerned.”

Nick Gradwell, co-chairman of the Low Vision Committee, said: “For people who don’t see so well, and there are many of us, this is a real step forward.”

Judith Harrison, community services manager at N-Vision, said: “We’re pleased to have worked together with Blackpool Council and the other organisations involved to have produced this result which will improve the situation for everyone.”

And Zoe Foster, from Guide Dogs, said: “We welcome the implementation of zebra crossings as they provide essential safe crossing points for not only our guide dog owners but all members of the community.”