Petition Presented

7th September 2017

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP led a delegation of blind people from around the country to present a petition to the Prime Minister regarding the difficulties and dangers of shared space schemes in our town and city centres where roads and pavements are not clearly delineated.

Although the regeneration of the Cirencester Market Place has had many aesthetic benefits for the town centre, particularly around St John’s Church. Mr Clifton-Brown has highlighted many times in the past the problems that the redesign of the Market Place in Cirencester has caused – particularly for blind and disabled residents – which has sadly resulted in many serious accidents.

The MP has called on the Town, District and County Council to have a radical rethink about how the Market Place could be remodelled before a fatality occurs.

Mr Clifton-Brown said:

‘Having guided my constituent, Oliver Stevenson, for about half a mile from College Green to Downing Street across numerous junctions and avoiding many hazards, it brought it home to me in no uncertain way how difficult life is for blind and partially sighted people.

‘Huge reliance and trust has to be placed on their highly trained guide dogs who in turn have to be able to assess what is safe or not. They rely on kerb stones, edges of buildings and audio-assisted crossings to do this.

‘All of these are unclear or missing in Cirencester Market Place and that is why I will be writing to the leaders of the Town, District and County Council to conduct an urgent review as to whether to reinstate proper kerbs to provide a clear separation between the road and pavement to prevent the continuing stream of accidents or, even worse, a fatality.

‘It is now absolutely clear now that sufficient time has passed that redesign of the Market Place was flawed.’

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