The crossings in H&F were revealed as part of a London wide question to Boris Johnson by LibDem Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, which revealed 347 such crossings across the capital. Westminster is the worst offender with 45 while Hackney accounts for 18 and Southwark has a total of 17. Only Kingston Upon Thames and Hillingdon are not represented on the list.
The figures also show that there are 113 crossings which fail national safety standards by not providing the minimum amount of time for people to safely cross the road.
One blind person, Mohammed Mohsan, said this about the crossings:
"Many people don't realise how frightening it can be to try and cross the road without the help of rotating cones or audible sounds, you can end up waiting for ages trying to guess when the cars might have stopped.
"I have had some bad experiences crossing busy roads in London and it would really boost my confidence if I could make it safely and easily to the other side without my heart pounding in fear."
Hugh Huddy, RNIB Campaigns Officer, said:
"If the green man sign on a crossing is broken, then it is marked as out of order. Bleeps and tactile cones are the way that blind and partially sighted people judge that it is safe to cross, so without them the crossing is effectively out of order to anyone with a sight problem.
"Failing to install and maintain accessible road crossings cannot be justified. Every crossing without bleeps or tactile cones is unsafe for the UK's two million with sight loss."
Difficult to disagree. The crossings that are dangerous for blind people in H&F are:
- L.B. Hammersmith & Fulham STAMFORD BROOK ROAD - EMLYN ROAD - PREBEND GARDENS - BATH ROAD
- L.B. Hammersmith & Fulham A219 FULHAM HIGH ST-NEW KINGS RD-PUTNEY BRIDGE APPROACH-CHURCHGATE
- L.B. Hammersmith & Fulham A4 TALGARTH ROAD - GLIDDON ROAD
- L.B. Hammersmith & Fulham A308 NEW KINGS ROAD - BAGLEY'S LANE
He tells me that they are "investigating the issues" and want to see TfL's plans to see if they can't be speeded up - junctions are usually updated when TfL come to renovate them.
I'm glad they're looking into this and I think they deserve real credit for being open about it - hopefully this article (and I'll be returning to the issue having spoken to local organisations representing the blind and visually impaired) will speed things up.