Here are some examples of things that, when badly-placed, can prove a needless obstacle.
advertising boards or signage
Badly-parked cycles or scooters
Outdoor chairs and tables
electric vehicle chargers
Vehicle charging cables across the footway
badly-placed sign or lampposts
Living Streets is calling for local authorities to prioritise clearing footways and pavements through measures including (but not limited to):
1. Banning all A-board advertising on the pavement
2. Putting in place plans and budget to remove excess or unused street furniture (eg signs and poles, guard rail and utility boxes or phone boxes)
3. Providing guidance to businesses using pavement space for outdoor entertainment that they must maintain a 1.5m pavement width
4. Ensuring maintenance of trees and hedges that encroach on pavements
5. Making a commitment that EV charging points and cycle storage will only be placed on pavements where 1.5m clearance width for pedestrians can be maintained; where there is insufficient space on the footway road space should be reallocated eg through the use of well-designed build outs.
Transport for All is calling for local authorities to take seven immediate and simple steps to remove the barriers that disabled people face when using footways.
Guide Dogs research reveals that 97% of people with a vision impairment have problems with street clutter.
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Street clutter includes things like poorly-placed or redundant street furniture, such as defunct phone boxes, or excessive poles for road signs.
This can seem harmless but it can create unnecessary obstructions which are inconvenient for everyone and particularly problematic for people with wheelchairs, buggies, or those living with sight loss.
By getting rid of redundant and poorly-placed signs, railings and advertising boards, our streets can be made tidier and less confusing. Reducing street clutter and making attractive, interesting and beautiful public spaces is a major part of how we can create vibrant areas for walking.
Charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) are currently being installed across the country as part of action to move away from petrol and diesel vehicles. In September 2018, the Prime Minister announced measures to install hundreds more charging stations across the UK.
These should not come at the expense of pedestrians, but we have already seen examples of their thoughtless placement on the pavement resulting in unnecessary obstructions. This easily avoidable pavement clutter is inconvenient for everyone and particularly problematic for people with wheelchairs, buggies, or those living with sight loss.
You can campaign in your area to halt EV charging points contributing to the reduction of public pavements.