By Marc Rath / email@example.com
Former Bristol Lord Mayor Chris Davies believes tactile paving laid at a busy road junction in the city could pose a danger to blind pedestrians.
The dimpled paving, which normally indicates a safe crossing point for blind and partially-sighted people, has been installed at the junction of St Luke’s Road and York Road in Totterdown.
Mr Davies, who represents Knowle, says the dimpled paving is located on a dropped kerb but is not part of a pedestrian crossing.
He believes blind people could walk out into a busy road if they come to the conclusion that the paving signals a safe place to cross. The former Lord Mayor contacted the Evening Post about the paving after learning that the council had attracted criticism for installing similar paving on a dropped kerb in Fishponds Road, Eastville.
Fishponds resident Phil Tattum contacted the council after witnessing a visually-impaired man trying to cross the road at a point on the pavement which leads into four lanes of traffic.
The paving has been installed near the junction with Royate Hill to allow cyclists to cross the pavement and join Fishponds Road from a cycle lane in Eastville Park.
In Totterdown, the paving leads into a busy T-junction and is situated close to a traffic-light controlled pedestrian crossing.
Mr Davies said: “I saw it some time ago and thought it was odd. The paving is leading into the main road – it’s absolutely ridiculous. I don’t know what the dropped kerb is there for.
“I’ve asked for tactile pavements in Knowle because we have quite a lot of visually-impaired people in the ward, but it’s not been very successful. We’ve got one here which is useless.
“It’s dangerous. I believe it’s more dangerous than the one in Eastville. If you were walking along York Road, it would indicate that it was the place to cross, but it leads into two lanes of traffic.”
In Eastville, the council is considering replacing the slabs after admitting they could be “confusing” to the blind. The authority said the paving had been installed in line with current guidance, but it was planning to review its policy on dimpled paving.
The council said the review was necessary as it was becoming common to introduce dropped kerbs at points which are not formal crossings.