TfL criticised over Islington danger crossings
PUBLISHED: 09:03 04 January 2012
»Transport for London (TfL) has been accused of discrimination after a list of crossings that are dangerous for blind people was exposed.
A Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed Islington has 17 pelican crossings – all on major roads such as Caledonian Road, Archway Road and Holloway Road – which break national accessibility standards because they have no features to help the visually impaired.
All the crossings should either beep or have rotating cones under the wait buttons, which spin when the green man is lit, to indicate the coast is clear.
Blind campaigner Elizabeth Jones, 83, of Yerbury Road, Upper Holloway, chairman of speaking newspaper Talking News Islington, said: “They should all have these features and I would urge TfL to fix them. They are necessary for blind people.
“If they are not there, you take a chance crossing the road and it’s very frightening, or you have to rely on someone coming along who you can ask for help.”
Pedestrian safety campaigner Caroline Russell said: “It’s shocking discrimination against people who are visually impaired. TfL should be making sure streets are accessible to everyone.”
There are 347 crossings without cones or beeps across London, representing 7.5 per cent of the total of 4,623, and Islington is one of the worst-affected boroughs.
London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, who submitted the FoI request, said: “It is a total disgrace that such basic safety standards are still not being met.”
Garrett Emmerson, chief operating officer for surface transport at TfL, said: “The safety of all pedestrians is of the utmost importance to TfL. All crossings are built to the accessibility standards required at the time of their installation. These standards do change and we are currently working to upgrade those which are not up to date.”
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