The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has voiced its support for a campaign to re-route a Cycle Superhighway away from a street that runs past the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) headquarters, in London.
The RNIB has raised concerns plans for North-South Cycle Superhighway, proposed to run directly past the charity’s headquarters on Judd Street in Farringdon, which include replacing a signalised pedestrian crossing with a zebra crossing, would pose problems for blind and partially sighted people who visit its HQ.
The LCC, in its support for the RNIB, says all vulnerable road users should be considered in cycling infrastructure, and has reiterated calls to move this section of the cycle route to Farringdon Road, rather than diverting it along quieter back streets.
Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive of LCC, said: “We want to create a safe environment for all road users including the visually impaired. We would be delighted to work with RNIB so future cycling infrastructure programs support their needs better, and will be suggesting joint education campaigns to improve safety and accessibility for both groups.”
In a letter to Transport for London (TfL) the RNIB says thousands of blind and partially sighted customers visit its HQ each year, along with its own staff, some of whom are blind and partially sighted.
Isabelle Clement, Director of Wheels for Wellbeing said: “This highlights the importance of talking with all groups that are impacted by new developments. I’m shocked the RNIB were not properly consulted over the equality impact assessment. Judd Street needs a solution that works for everyone.”
Plans for Judd Street, outside the RNIB
The RNIB has also raised concerns generally about the use of shared use pavements, and cycle routes that “encroach into walking areas”. It says visitors report aggressive cyclist behaviour nearby and the charity points out not all blind and partially sighted people are easily identifiable by a cane or guide dog. The RNIB has asked for the N-S Cycle Superhighway to continue on Farringdon Road, rather than following back streets, at its Northern end, a sentiment the LCC echoes.
The London Cycling Campaign says making London’s streets safe for everyone is paramount, and says it hopes to work with RNIB so the needs of blind and visually impaired people are taken into account in cycling infrastructure plans.