Railings on island in Euston Rd

Meeting: 
MQT on 2015-09-16
Session date: 
September 16, 2015
Reference: 
2015/2845
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

As part of their London-wide policy Transport for London have removed railings on the island in the middle of Euston Rd at the junction with Judd St and Midland Rd. This has  a detrimental impact upon blind and partially sighted people as the railings act as a vital guide for blind and partially sighted people to follow as they seek to cross one lane of traffic then the other.  Without the railings people will simply walk straight across if they can't see how the crossing works and therefore face the situation of walking into moving traffic. Will you reverse this change, especially as the crossing is close to the head office of RNIB?

Answer

Answer for Railings on island in Euston Rd

Answer for Railings on island in Euston Rd

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The removal of unnecessary and redundant street furniture aligns with my Better Streets initiative.  When considering the removal of pedestrian guard railing the objective must always be to remove it without negative impact on pedestrian safety.

The guidance criteria used in assessing the removal of guard rail, issued in 2012, is based on analysis of around 150 junctions and 200 staggered crossings in central London.  It notes that in delineating between footway and carriageway the kerb edge can perform the same function as guard rail.  The nationally recognised means of assisting blind or partially sighted people in locating crossing places is by the use of tactile paving, and not guard rail.

Guard rail can provide a false sense of security to pedestrians in situations where the barrier itself would not in reality provide protection from a moving vehicle.  In some busy areas the reduction in space combined with the barrier has also been seen to force pedestrians into the carriageway on the 'wrong' side of the railing - particularly in central reservations.

All guard rail removal locations undergo a thorough design and review process, part of which includes a Road Safety Audit. This process ensures a balanced assessment of all guard rail removal locations which takes into account the requirements for all user groups and Stakeholders. Furthermore, whenever guard rail is removed, the site is monitored for any change in casualty statistics.  If the RNIB has specific concerns over this site, then of course TfL would be happy to consider them and they have, on occasions, made exceptions to the standard practice based on the specific needs of the local population.  I will ask TfL officers to contact the RNIB in this regard.