Want to get Streets Ahead?

Have you ever? - Tripped on a broken kerb? - Been hit in the face by an overhanging bush? - Injured yourself walking into A-Boards on your local high street? - Felt unsafe due to the close proximity of traffic driving by? - Struggled to find a safe place to cross the road? If you have, you are not alone - and imagine if you were blind or partially sighted! This is why Guide Dogs are launching their Streets Ahead campaign. - We aim to provide blind and partially sighted people with the tools to help them engage with their local authorities and developers and ensure that inclusive design principles are at the heart of new projects. - We aim to work with engineers, architects, town planners and other urban design professionals so that the needs of blind and partially sighted people are well understood and that they are properly consulted at the earliest possible opportunity and not as an afterthought. - We want more councils to follow the lead of ones like Manchester City Council in their decision not to have shared surface streets in residential areas and consider the needs of all people using streets at the beginning of the design process. - We aim to inform local shopkeepers and councillors about the unnecessary nuisance of A Boards and other poorly positioned street furniture. - We aim to change the behaviour of inconsiderate motorists, whose thoughtless parking is damaging pavements. This costs councils millions of pounds in repairs, can cause injury to blind and partially sighted people, and impede their passage and that of other disabled people along our footways. - We aim to show householders that by maintaining their hedgerows, taking the time to trim overhanging branches and thinking about where they put their wheelie bins, they can help to make using our footways easier and safer for blind and partially sighted people - and at the same time make their own environment more attractive! Whether you are personally affected by sight loss, or you are a professional involved in the design of our streetscapes, a politician or a concerned citizen, to find out more about Streets Ahead, and how you can get involved, please email campaigns@guidedogs.org.uk. The campaign will officially launch in April 2011.