Time to tackle street clutter

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Street clutter such as irresponsibly placed shop advertising signs (A-boards) and pavement cafe furniture can obstruct and hamper a person’s progress on the street.

Keeping pathways clear is particularly crucial for the independence of people who are blind and partially sighted.

A recent Guide Dogs survey for their Streets Ahead campaign showed A-boards and cafe furniture are both in the top 10 most common street clutter items, acting as a real barrier to a person’s independence.

Shockingly, 65 per cent of those with sight loss have been injured by street clutter too. It also prevents wheelchair users and other vulnerable pedestrians from using the pavements with confidence.

Several local councils have already introduced measures to reduce unnecessary clutter.

For example, shops can use window adverts instead of multiple A-boards to entice customers and improve the street for pedestrians.

I would like your paper to join me in a campaign to ask the council to introduce measures to tackle unnecessary street clutter and ensure that our high street is fully accessible to those who are blind or partially sighted.

Please email campaigns@guidedogs.org.uk for more information about their campaign and survey findings.

As chairman of Northumberland Low Vision Action Group (NAG) this is a campaign and issue we frequently raise about the A-boards in Morpeth.

Alison Wheatley,

Bankside, Morpeth