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Issue Date:- 17 February 2009
Small Schemes fund
and Merseyrail, with the support of the Department for Transport,
have invested £557,000 at a further 4 stations on the network to
improve access for people with mobility problems.
At Bidston Station, improvements include a fully accessible toilet,
better seating and customer information screens on the platforms and
New Brighton now also has information screens in the booking hall
and on the platforms. There is also a rise and fall ticket counter,
automatic station entrance doors, improved seating, tactile paving
and new flooring in the booking hall.
Wallasey Grove Road improvements include new information screens,
rise and fall counter, tactile paving, and double-glazed windows to
the Liverpool platform waiting room.
At Wallasey Village, both waiting rooms have been refurbished; there
are improved seating and information screens on the platforms and at
the top of the stairs.
The projects have been part-financed by the Department for
Transport’s Access for All Small Schemes fund (£265,760) with
Merseytravel contributing a further £271,240 and Merseyrail £20,000.
Councillor Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, said:-
“Improvements such as these can make a big difference to people’s
lives and we hope all of these projects will directly benefit both
disabled passengers and people with mobility difficulties.”
Councillor Chris Blakeley, Chair of Merseytravel’s Rail Services
Committee, added:- “This investment is important because we
are making these stations, and the way information is provided, much
easier for people to use.
Everyone should have the opportunity to
reap the benefits of the services we provide.”
Letters to the editor:- "If
you can't tell where the road begins and the pavement ends, how can
you feel safe?"
"WE are concerned by recent media reports of towns and cities
across the UK which are considering implementing shared surface
street designs, similar to the scheme recently introduced in
We would like to address some of the perceived benefits of this
increasingly popular street design which puts blind and partially
sighted people, disabled and elderly people, and young children at
Guide Dogs is campaigning to stop the implementation of shared
surface streets in the UK when roads and pavements are built at the
same level with little or no divide between areas for vehicles and
pedestrians. In this design the kerb, which traditionally separates
traffic from the pedestrian footway, is removed and replaced with a
shared surface street design. Blind and partially sighted people,
particularly guide dog owners and long cane users, are trained to
use the kerb as a key navigation cue so its removal has dangerous
consequences for those pedestrians.
To use a shared surface street, pedestrians, motorists and cyclists
need to make ‘eye contact’ to establish priority. This places blind
and partially sighted people at serious risk and undermines their
safety, confidence and independence. Their experience is mirrored by
vulnerable pedestrians in the Netherlands –often cited as a country
where shared surface streets ‘work’ - where Guide Dogs research
shows that shared surface streets are becoming ‘no-go’ areas for
It is essential that all road users, including blind or partially
sighted pedestrians, are considered in any new street design. Over
20 national disability organisations, including Leonard Cheshire
Disability, Arthritis Care and MENCAP, share Guide Dogs calls for
inclusive streetscapes. We would therefore urge all local
authorities to ensure that new street developments do not become
“no-go” areas for vulnerable pedestrians.
Indeed, Guide Dogs hopes that towns and cities across the UK will
follow the example set in Northern Ireland recently when design
consultants in both Belfast and Londonderry decided to move away
from the shared surface street concept. They retained a kerb line
and, significantly, reinstated a full kerb in an existing shared
surface street scheme." Yours faithfully,
Sue Sharp, Head of Public Policy
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
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