Input from Cardiff Access Forum has helped to adapt a cycle lane with a new pedestrian crossing to help blind and visually impaired people cross the cycleway.

The crossing is on Wood Street in the city centre and includes a button on either side that people can use to stop bike traffic and cross the cycle lane, it is the first of its kind in the whole UK.

The design was conceived with the input of disability groups who advised Cardiff Council.

A spokesperson for the council said: “The controlled pedestrian crossing that has been installed on Wood Street is a trial and is the first crossing of its kind in the UK. It is designed to enable blind and partially-sighted people to cross the cycleway and the road safely.

“The design of the bespoke ‘push button crossing’ was produced following work with a range of disability groups through the Cardiff Access Forum to understand their needs, and to ensure that the new road layout on Wood Street is as accessible and safe as possible for all road users.”

Tactile pavements are a type of pavement that features raised lines, domes, or other textures, used throughout the UK to communicate safety information to people who are blind, have low vision, or another vision impairment. Large domes or lines are designed to act as a stop sign, while more subtle lines indicate that a path is safe to walk on.

According to Wales Online, existing cycle lanes in Cardiff have been criticised in the past by blind and partially-sighted people. In 2021, concerns were raised by a man who stepped off a bus with his guide dog, directly into a cycle lane with no markings to indicate to him that it was there.

As part of RNIB’s ‘Who put that there!’ campaign, information was collected on common problems faced by blind and partially sighted people while navigating the streets, which included pedestrian crossings and people using cycle lanes.

London Luton Airport (LLA) and easyJet recently hosted an accessibility familiarisation day to give passengers with both hidden and visual disabilities an opportunity to experience all aspects of the airport’s end-to-end passenger journey.

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