Sight loss charities to help make Glasgow streets inclusive

Active travel campaigners and charities specialising in sight loss are set to help ensure a transformation of Glasgow’s streets is designed to be inclusive for all residents.

Glasgow City Council’s Avenues project officially launched in 2018, and aims to transform the city’s streets making them more people friendly, greener, attractive and economically competitive.

Following the completion of the Sauchiehall Avenue project however, members of the blind community raised concerns with the local authority about the design which did not separate cycle lanes from the pavement.

Concerns over project

At last Thursday’s full council meeting, councillor Jon Molyneux asked if all future Avenues projects would now be fully compliant with the updated cycle by design guidance.

Councillor Anna Richardson confirmed that all avenues projects would adopt the latest principles.

Councillor Molyneux said: “Both active travel and sight loss campaigners still raise concerns about designs which came from relying on elements of shared space and crossing areas.

“The new guidance states that for new developments there should be a specific presumption in favour of separating pedestrian and cycling movements from the built in environment.

“There’s a unique opportunity to develop high quality facilities for all at the outset. Can the city convener give assurance that when that paper comes forward it will address issues around shared space and how they will be brought into line with revised guidance.”

Learning lessons

Councillor Richardson said she agreed that the issue of shared space had to be discussed.

She added: “The avenues team in particular have always been committed to learning lessons from projects that have gone before and ensuring it is now an accessible design forum.

“Active travel campaigners can work with those representing groups around disability and that’s a really positive step around disability. It allows important conversations to happen at the very beginning of these projects.

“That committee report has to look at shared space and address that.”

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