RNIB have a number of key campaigns that relate of local government powers and functions.
Their Key Principles of Inclusive Street Design Campaign calls for basic pedestrian safety and accessibility principles to be incorporated into all planning authorities design guides. These are particularly important for those with visual impairments.
These include all pedestrian routes being pedestrian only, signalised crossings across all roads and cycle ways, places being designed with safe walking routes to all key locations and avoiding street clutter amongst other measures.
RNIB have produced the below Template Council Motion calling on councils to incorporate these principles into their design guides for streets.
Council notes that blind and partially sighted people are struggling to walk safely on our streets. The design of [AREA NAME] changed rapidly through the pandemic and with new measures to increase active travel. These changes are currently negatively impacting blind and partially sighted people’s safety, independence and health. Recent figures show
- 99 per cent of blind and partially sighted people said that pedestrian crossings are important to them for making walking journeys
- 95 per cent of blind and partially sighted people have collided with an obstacle in their local neighbourhood over a three month period
- 78 per cent said they would avoid a shared route with bikes
- 78 per cent said walking journeys were their only, or main, form of outdoor physical exercise.
Council believes that action must be taken to reverse this trend; and that it is the local authority’s responsibility to take this action as part of their responsibility for highways and public spaces.
Council further notes that the current consultation process makes it difficult or impossible for blind and partially sighted people and organisations representing them to respond sufficiently each time. Many streets consultations ask similar questions about each new proposed scheme. Having to continually respond places an unnecessary burden on blind and partially sighted people, especially as the consultations are not always accessible to them.
Council believes that rather than attempting to address the inaccessibility of street design through repetitive consultations which likely fail to capture all the knowledge and experience desired, the Key Principles of Inclusive Street Design should be adopted to ensure smooth delivery of street designs that work for all residents.
Council resolves to instruct officers to
- Determine where the current instructions town planners are given disagree with the Key Principles of Inclusive Street Design
- Draft an update that integrates the Key Principles into the design brief