Guide Dog owners picket City Hall over Exhibition Road scheme

guidedogsDozens of protesters picketed London’s City hall this morning in an attempt to persuade Boris Johnson to rethink his commitment to a scheme which would see Kensington’s Exhibition Road converted to shared use.

Plans supported and part-funded by Transport for London would see the road converted to ’shared space’, setting the pavement and road surface at the same level, removing traditional kerbs and placing vehicles at the same level.

Campaigners, who were led by the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, say this poses a danger to visually impaired pedestrians as long cane users and guide dogs are trained to use the kerb as a key navigation aid.

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Kensington and Chelsea council, which is responsible for the project, say the scheme includes for the introduction of ‘tactile guidance paving’ to aid those who are blind or visually impaired to navigate the area.

Speaking at Mayor’s Question Time this morning Mr Johnson said he was keen to find a way forward which all groups support.

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David Coudrey, campaign manager for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, says the Mayor declined an invitation to “come down and talk to the disabled people of London”.

Comments

  1. theJohn Richards says

    I was one of the protestors and now I know the mayor wouldn’t come down well obviously the mayor has something that is unsaid

  2. Siobhan says

    i think it is disgusting the way some people think guide dogs won’t get killed i am not blind i also think it is wrong guide dogs need the raised kerbs is the mayor not for leaving i just think it is wrong full stop

  3. says

    I find it extraordinary that Boris couldnt find the time to even come and speak to the protestors given they represented a cross section of the disabled community in London. Speaks for itself really.

  4. Graham says

    These people do not represent the disabled people of London. I am a wheelchair user and to me the kerb is a barrier and discriminates against me. I am looking forward to being able to move around freely on exhibition road, and not crammed onto a narrow footway full of tourists. The problem with disabilities is different people have different needs – i resent this group lobbying in my name. If they actually took time to understand what shared surfaces are all about they would be reassured, but instead they just jump on a bandwagon based on hype and speculation.

  5. Helen says

    I went to have a look at Exhibition Road this morning; I stood in the middle on a narrow traffic island and it was pretty scary. Apart from cars and many taxis, big lorries and huge tourist coaches were thundering down the three-lane southbound carriageway next to me. Both sides of the road are lined with residents’ parking.

    Exhibition Road is a major artery in a massively busy city and cannot be compared to small towns in Holland which seem to be the examples for the “shared space” model.

  6. says

    Well, I think people in London are finally waking up to the fact that the Mayor’s advisors are chosen for who they are and not what they can do.

    Streets in Central London have been narrowed causing congestion where previously there was none, traffic signals give priority to phantom pedestrians, roads works where no one shows up to work for weeks appearing on virtually every main street. In fact a city in chaos.

    And to top it all, the Mayors transport manager Mr Ranger appears on the James Whale show and said that the scheme in Exhibition road will work because it is loosely based on the one in Seven Dials, You know the one, in the back streets where its almost impossible to get to in a vehicle.

    What do these people do for their vast salaries, they don’t need a diploma, what they need is good eyesight and common sense. Something that seems strangely missing in modern politics.