A national charity has launched a stinging criticism of Preston’s shared space – three years after it was finished.Advertisement
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association says the city centre has become a ‘no go’ area for its members.
A picture on its Facebook page explains how the new road layout has caused one of its members to be the subject of verbal abuse by drivers.
The charity features the story of Julie, the owner of Queenie the guide dog, from Preston.
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She says: “Preston city centre is a no go area for me now. Just after the council raised the road and removed the traffic lights, I was left stranded when I tried to cross a road in a familiar place.
“I didn’t see a car slowing down for me. The driver got out of his car and shouted at me to go, but my guide dog Queenie didn’t know if it was safe so wouldn’t move.
“Guide dogs are well trained but all this is undone when faced with a shared surface. I now avoid the area.”
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The shared space was introduced in summer 2014 – and has continued further up Fishergate and towards Church Street. The latest stretch was unveiled down Cannon Street.
It’s faced criticism from drivers, pedestrians and politicians, for the failed introduction of the bus-only lane down Fishergate, the now removed infamous Fishergate bollard and the surfaces becoming a free car park due to lack of clear signage. One woman even claimed she broke her foot on the new kerbs.
However, the scheme has won a national award from highways officials for its introduction to transform the centre of Preston.
Do you think the new road layout has been a success or failure? What do you think about the shared space? Let us know in the comments below