Blind may take county council to court

Blind people in Warwick are being advised to take the county council to court over its refusal to re-instate a zebra crossing as part of the High Street and Jury Street ‘improvement’ scheme which has left many feeling unsafe in the town centre.

This week the legal adviser for the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) sent a warning letter to county 
officers saying that if a controlled crossing was not installed on the historic street then the charity would back local members who wished to take legal action on the grounds of a breach of the Equality Act.

Local transport chiefs have always maintained that the four “shared platform” crossings across the adjoining streets were created after consultation with disabled groups. They say they will not be reviewing the situation again for at least another 12 months.

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But regular visitors to Warwick, like 71-year-old Vaughan Rees, who lives in Sherbourne, said: “I was nearly run over while crossing High Street with my guide dog quite recently. And on another occasion I got stuck in the middle of the road when I tried to cross watched by my wife, who is sighted.

“As far as I’m concerned the county council has denied my access to the cash point outside Barclays Bank and the Quaker cafe, which I used to frequent. As far as I’m concerned this refusal to reinstate a crossing has become more of a face-saving exercise than an issue of safety.

“Legal action may be our only option.”

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