Michelle Hough from St Agnes, Cornwall has taken action against the proposed installation of a shared space in her area by parking her car across the entrance to the housing development in which it will be built.

Michelle, whose daughter is blind, feels that the installation of a shared space would endanger people with disabilities, including her daughter Millie, who is blind and lives with hearing loss.

The lack of raised kerb in shared spaces mean that neither Millie or her buddy dog can navigate the areas safely, as neither know where to stop. The government has acknowledged the prospective dangers of shared spaces by “pausing” the consideration or design of the roadways, which Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani said “just don’t work” for blind or partially sighted people.

Michelle notes that the installation of the shared space will not only affect visually impaired people, but also those with autism, wheelchair users, learning disabilities and dementia.

Despite this, the Sanctuary Group, who are developing the site, said their planning is “fully compliant” with the permission granted to them by Cornwall Council.

Michelle tweeted that she was “forced to take action to protect the safety of disabled [people], wheelchair users and many others,” showing her 4×4 parked over the entrance to the site with a note in the window, detailing the reasons for her protest.

“Shared space roads have been deemed as discriminatory and dangerous and as such local authorities have been asked to stop building them. You are ignoring this advice,” she writes.

UNITE has previously reported on the dangers of shared space, highlighting the difficulties faced by residents of Kirkintilloch, Glasgow. Sandy Taylor, chairman of the East Dunbartonshire Visually Impaired People’s Forum, told UNITE that he plays “Russian roulette” every time he steps out on the street. “We are excluded from our own high street and our town centre.”

Image: Michelle Hough/Twitter

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