Taking action - 26 June

Guide Dogs for the Blind vs London Mayor Boris Johnson

Guide Dogs for the Blind: Protestors outside City hall
Guide Dogs for the Blind: Protestors outside City hall

Protesters - The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
Target - London Mayor Boris Johnson
Location - City Hall, London
Date - 17 June

The lowdown

This week 100 blind and partially sighted people demonstrated outside City Hall. They wanted Boris Johnson to change his mind on providing £13m worth of funding to a plan for cars andpedestrians to share the same road space on Exhibition Road, the area that surrounds key London museums.

Why the protest?

A ‘naked road’ or ‘shared surface area’ does not have any kerbs. The Guide Dogs for the Blind said this would make navigation difficult for blind and partially sighted people who use kerbs as  crucial markers for navigation. It said a similar road-share scheme has made London’s Seven Dials area a no-go zone. The protest  is part of The Guide Dogs for the Blind’s ongoing campaign against shared surfaces.

What was the response?

The London Mayor’s director of transport policy Kulveer Ranger said shared surfaces reduced the speed of traffic and were safer for all pedestrians, including partially sighted people. Johnson said
the area would have markers for navigation.

How did the media cover it?

Channel 4 News interviewed both Ranger and the charity’s external affairs director Tom Pey. It also appeared on websites such as London Informer, Londonist, MayorWatch and the BBC.

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