Sunderland Council commits to accessible street designs pledge
Sunderland Council has committed to pledges calling for improved and accessible street designs for blind and partially sighted pedestrians, in response to our #StreetsForAll campaign.
We have been campaigning for improved consultation and communication with disabled people when implementing new street designs.
Many local authorities are redesigning their streets to accommodate more pedestrians and cyclists as improved social distancing measures. New one-way systems, increased cycle lanes and outdoor seating areas, however, are acting as physical barriers to blind and partially sighted pedestrians.
Mike Bell, Senior Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager at Sight Loss Councils said: “Many local authorities have had to make rapid changes to their street designs in response to Covid-19 guidance from the government. However, many of these changes have not reflected the needs of disabled people. We welcome Sunderland Councils’ commitment to sign up to our pledges and urge other local authorities to follow suit.”
The pledges call on councils to:
· Seek guidance from sight loss organisations and blind and partially sighted people on highways schemes at the design stage.
· Communicate changes on highways schemes in an accessible way to make sure that blind and partially sighted people can understand the implications of alterations in their neighbourhoods.
· Carry out Equality Impact Assessments on highways schemes to evaluate whether the proposed changes are safe and appropriate for disabled pedestrians.
Ask your council to get involved
We want more councils to follow Sunderland’s example and this is where you can help. Write to your local councilor using our template letter and ask them to commit to our pledges.