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Sight loss charity calls for street ads ban

This news post is over 1 year old

One in three visually impaired people have been injured by pavement boards, according to RNIB Scotland.

Scottish towns and cities should follow Edinburgh’s lead and ban advertising boards on streets, a sight loss charity has urged.

RNIB Scotland has welcomed the capital’s landmark decision last week to make a temporary ban, introduced in autumn 2017, permanent after campaigns by disability and heritage groups.

The charity said the boards presented an ever-present danger to people with sigh loss, with one in three telling them they had been injured by pavement obstacles.

James Adams, RNIB Scotland director, said: "Edinburgh’s decision was a bold and forward-thinking one and very welcome news for blind and partially sighted people.

“The ban that has been in place for over a year now has made Edinburgh a safer and more welcoming environment for residents and visitors with sight loss and other disabilities.

“We hope other towns and cities will follow suit. If a city as historic and important as Edinburgh to the Scottish and UK economy can take this step, others can too. The council has worked with local businesses to look at alternatives such as wall advertising.”

Some other local authorities have “tentatively” introduced similar bans, the charity said, but there are concerns about how strictly these are enforced.

“A vital element for any successful 21st century town or city must be inclusivity, one that is open and welcoming to everyone, no matter what needs they have,” said Mr Adams.

Blind campaigner and city resident Kirin Saeed was among those who spoke to Edinburgh City Council’s transport committee meeting about their personal experiences ahead of last week’s vote.

She said: “I am delighted and proud of the City of Edinburgh council for agreeing to make permanent a move that will enable blind and partially sighted people to walk the streets of Edinburgh with freedom.”



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