Monday, 30 April 2012

Council slammed for directing visually impaired into middle of dangerous junction

Chorlton Lib Dem candidate Matt Gallagher has slammed the Council for failing to protect visually impaired pedestrians. Last Autumn Matt raised concerns about the tactile paving which helps visually impaired pedestrians to safely cross Keppel Road. The paving had been laid in such a way as to direct pedestrians into the middle of the busy junction with Brantingham Road (see top picture). Last October the Council admitted the paving had been incorrectly laid over six years before and promised to rectify the problem within 30 days. Six Months on the Council had still not fixed the problem. Thankfully after Matt and I raised this issue again a few weeks ago it has now been rectified (see bottom picture).

Matt said: “I was very concerned that someone who is visually impaired could suffer serious injury if they believed this paving was helping them to safely cross to the other side of the road. As it was they could find themselves in the middle of a very busy junction.”

After Matt raised this issue with me I contacted the Council who confirmed that the paving had been incorrectly laid. It is simply unacceptable for the Council to take such risks with people’s lives. I demanded that the Council deal with this as a matter of urgency; but it is disgraceful it took them so long to rectify a relatively simple problem.


  1. As someone who doesn't get tactile pavement, can you explain how it directs the visually impaired and what the difference between the laying in the old & new picture is?

    1. Hi Nic, the purpose of the blister surface tactile paving is to provide a warning to visually impaired people who would find it difficult to differentiate between where the footway ends and where the carriageway begins. The Government recommends that the paving be installed so that it is in line with the direction of travel across the road as it may be used by some visually impaired people to align themselves properly before crossing the road. As you can see from the top picture the alignment was out into the middle of Brantingham Road. In the bottom picture the relayed paving is flush with the pavement on the other side of Keppel Road.

      Around 1 in 60 people in the UK are blind or partially sighted adults. So it is important that the Council takes this issue seriously.

      More guidance and information is available here: