MP takes blindfold walk challenge

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans.
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans.
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Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans is taking part in a blindfold walk to highlight the challenges that blind and partially sighted people face when out and about.

The blindfold walk takes place around Clitheroe on Saturday morning during a “Street Accessibility Fortnight of Action”, being run by RNIB (the Royal National Institute of Blind People).

The initiative aims to highlight the growing problem of street obstacles; bollards, advertising boards, bins, cars parked on pavements, and “shared space” schemes. Campaigners will be sharing their experiences and calling on local authorities to sit down with them and create a Street Charter for their area.

RNIB’s CEO, Lesley-Anne Alexander CBE, said: “If decision makers understand how blind and partially sighted people navigate the streets, and take that into consideration, they could help tackle one of the biggest barriers faced today by people with sight loss.

“We hope the fortnight of action will encourage local authorities to engage with blind and partially sighted people in their area and develop a ‘street charter’ that puts a clear highway policy at the heart of it.”

Mr Evans said: “It is important that we understand the barriers that blind and partially sighted people face when getting out and about and to look at ways in which they can be tackled.”

Michael Tupper, a local campaigner supporting the walk, said: “As a blind guide dog user living in Clitheroe, the obstacles I encounter most are cars parked on pavements, overhanging branches, uneven pavements and obstructions caused by advertising boards. It is important that the local authority understand the problems these cause for myself and other blind and partially sighted people and work alongside us to address them.”