SHARED SPACE: No good for guide dogs
I am reeling from the idea of the Shared Space scheme in Shields Road, proposed by the Stobhill county councillor Ian Lindley, (Morpeth Herald, September 8).
I truly cannot imagine that this project has been thoroughly thought through.
The idea of making eye contact with the driver to indicate I need to cross the road is impossible for me and many of my friends who are blind.
The idea that this said driver will stop is, I believe, naive as some drivers will stop, but many will not.
All some of these drivers seem to want to do is to go from A to B as quickly as possible.
Guide dogs are trained to walk on pavements and to stop at kerbs.
When they reach a kerb they are trained to sit at the kerb, which informs the owner they are at a road.
They are instructed to wait for the command to go forward and will walk in a straight line to the opposite kerb.
Guide dogs are trained this way to insure the owner and the dog stay safe.
Therefore, a guide dog will not be able to work in a safe manner if you are in an area where there are no kerbs.
I wonder how this scheme complies with the Disability Discrimination Act?
Guide Dogs will have invested £50,000 for each guide dog during the lifetime of the animal, therefore I have a great responsibility to keep my dog safe.
I want to be safe, and I want my guide dog to be safe.
This scheme will put both of us in harm’s way.
This is not fair to us and would prevent us from visiting those areas so designed.
If this scheme takes off, you are going to make me a hermit as I already have enough obstacles, such as cars parked on pavements, in my day to day life.
You will make them 100 times worse.
I am begging you to reconsider this inane project for the welfare of many pedestrians.
Guide dog owner