Mayor helps to blind test streets of Biggleswade

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Biggleswade Mayor Hazel Ramsay has taken part in a blindfold walk around Biggleswade town centre to highlight the challenges that blind and partially sighted people face.

Cllr Ramsay was invited on the walk by local resident Paul Day, who is concerned about the increase of advertising boards that turn some streets into an obstacle course for blind and partially sighted people.

Paul was supported by another Biggleswade resident, Natalie Doig, and Emily Papaleo from RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People).

Cllr Ramsay said: “I feel that we as a Town Council should be able to understand the issues concerning everyone in Biggleswade.

“It would be easier to negotiate some of the pavement areas if a few of our businesses could be persuaded to move their advertising boards. This would benefit not only the visually impaired but also people using prams, buggies and adult wheel chairs.

“It is encouraging that there has been progress since RNIB’s campaigners last ‘audit’ and they are optimistic that with a few changes mainly based on awareness and consideration, our Market Square could become a safer environment for everyone.”

RNIB Campaigner Paul Day, said:“My experience has been that walking around Biggleswade to and from the station and around the Market Square has become increasingly challenging because of street clutter.

“I want to work with the town council to find ways we can make pavements as free from clutter as possible, and continue the improvements.

A street audit of Biggleswade by RNIB campaigners during the summer of 2015, found 51 advertising boards on the High Street and around the Market Square. A follow up audit will be carried out in the next few weeks.