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Friday, 6 January 2012

Exhibition Road Attacked By Blind And Disabled

 The Evening Standard today report the reaction of blind campaigners to Exhibition Road

A radical re-design of Exhibition Road was today criticised as "dangerous" and "alienating" by blind campaigners reports Mark Blunden.....

A Dangerous and Alienating Road-not fit for purpose
The £29 million refurbishment of the Kensington street, home to the Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum and near the Royal Albert Hall, saw kerbs removed for pedestrians to "share" the highway with vehicles.
Kensington and Chelsea council undertook the project because it considered the old layout to be "unfriendly" for the 11 million annual visitors.
But the new flattened surface, where there is little difference between kerb and road, has left the three-quarters-of-a-mile length of Exhibition Road a virtual no-go zone for blind visitors, said campaigners.
The council hope a series of criss-crossing X patterns on the 20mph road will encourage motorists to drive with greater awareness of pedestrians.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association wants crossings installed, with cab drivers and residents' groups also calling for improvements.
The Standard joined two blind Londoners, Dave Kent and Rachel Mentiply, to witness their experiences crossing Exhibition Road with their guide dogs, Quince and Samson.
Ms Mentiply, 30, a partially-sighted administrator from Greenwich, said there was no kerb for Samson to stop at and alert her to the danger. She said: "The first time I came it was quite scary and I very nearly got hit. Because there was no kerb, Samson carried on going and because I'm partially deaf I didn't hear the traffic."
Without the kerbs, the only indication for blind people are ridges in the pavement, instead of the usual "blistered" bobbles.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association was consulted over the scheme after taking the council to judicial review, but says the council's concessions did not go far enough.
Mr Kent, 52, from Hammersmith, an officer for the charity, said: "There's no indication that we've left the pavement."

A council spokesman said: "The scheme has been meticulously assessed throughout the design stages and we are now monitoring the road to see how it is used in practice."

Instead of allowing officers to bear the brunt of criticism why do not the instigators of this mad 'folly', Daniel Moylan and Pooter Cockell take the flak. Another £30 millions running into the gutter!


  1. >>Kensington and Chelsea council undertook the project because it considered the old layout to be "unfriendly" for the 11 million annual visitors.

    That's nice of them. Perhaps other councils will consider doing this when something is deemed 'unfriendly' as they sure won't do it when the roads actually need resurfacing.

    - Adam, The Socialist Dictatorship, once known as Britain., 06/01/2012 18:37

  2. "The council hope a series of criss-crossing X patterns on the 20mph road will encourage motorists to drive with greater awareness of pedestrians"
    Some hope! A design by the public relations and political stupidity crowd rather than engineers and traffic planners.

    - Patrick, Dalston, 06/01/2012 11:30

  3. Kensington Resident6 January 2012 at 22:47

    £30 million to repave a road!!

    What a scandal. A pure vanity project by Cllr Moylan and not a single objection from the rest of the pathetic K&C councillors. These guys are out of touch with reality. And out of touch with public opinion.

  4. What process produced a decision to do such a monstrous project? How was the money authorised?

    Are there no checks and balances in Hornton Street?

    A complete waste of hard earned taxpayers money.

  5. Typical, Moy boy and his gangers thought the roads 'unfriendly' so they re do them to maim and possibly kill people. What do they understand 'friendly' to mean? Complete and utter idiots.

  6. The problem at the Council is the decision making process. Basically back benchers have no influence; everything is done by "Key Decisions" taken by Cabinet members. Back benchers have recently prompted a review of this process and - surprise surpise - while most back benchers feel it is an opaque, cumbersome, bureaucratic and undemocratic system, Cabinet members think it is marvellous!

  7. Spot on, Horse Fly. Add to the mix the fact that officers just roll their eyes when Councillors object to Decisions, whether backbench Tory or Labour or - whatever the other group are called ..

    There was a lot of concern at the earliest stages of this scheme, about safety, about the cost, and about the outrageous claims made for it, eg, it would be like the Ramblas of Barcelona. Sadly no one with any authority dared to stand up to Danny 'Boys' Moylan.

    The first nasty accident will be entirely, 100% the fault of his unfettered ego.

  8. Democracy is obviously dead in K&C

    This is the legacy of Cllr Cockell


  9. Cllr Paget-Brown has written a letter to the Kensington and Chelsea Chronicle rubbishing Dr Gordon Taylor and his analysis of the Exhibition Road folly.

    Silly Paget-Brown.

    Taylor or no Taylor, taxpayers have still splashed out £29 million to import pink Chinese marble to tart up a central London Road. Pedestrians have been put at risk and traffic flow reduced by 70%. Cllr Paget-Brown needs to take a look in the mirror.

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