Wolverhampton Train Station

Transport is a priority area but many blind and partially sighted people feel unsafe travelling alone due to lack of planned precautions that allow for independent travel.

The Black Country Sight Loss Council invited MPs to “see the dangers” for blind and partially sighted people in Wolverhampton. Emma Reynolds, MP for Wolverhampton North East, Eleanor Smith, MP for Wolverhampton South West, and Pat McFadden, MP for Wolverhampton South East, visited the city’s railway station to take part in a visual awareness experience.

Pat McFadden said: “We tried to do this first as partially sighted and then with a complete blindfold. With the complete blindfold, you are totally reliant on the guide. I’m realistic enough to know a few minutes with a blindfold does not give you what it’s really like, but it gives you a small sense of what people go through. The station is scheduled for renewal already, but I think we need to make sure that we have the tactile paving and they have applied for some extra money for that.

Tactile paving (also called detectable warning surface) is textured ground surface found on footpaths, stairs and station platforms. The paving may be a series of bumps (blister paving) or bars (corduroy paving) and their presence indicates a specific hazard. The position of tactile paving allows blind and partially sighted people to be more aware of their surroundings and move around safely and independently.

With the MPs backing a funding application for tactile paving in the station, the Black Country Sight Loss Council is looking forward to seeing how the station will be made safer in the future.

The event was covered by local press, Express and Star

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Publication date: 15 October 2020

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