Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

New grey Spaces for People barriers in Inverness branded ‘madness’ amid concerns for those with poor sight

Councillor Andrew Jarvie
Councillor Andrew Jarvie

New social distancing barriers erected in Inverness city centre have been branded “madness” by a councillor who fears they may be dangerous to people with impaired sight.

Red and white barriers put in place months ago as part of the Spaces for People programme during the pandemic have been replaced by grey and black installations in Bridge Street and Castle Street.

But Councillor Andrew Jarvie said the change had been made with “utter disregard” for the impact on anyone with a visual impairment.

He said a previous project in Academy Street was halted because the contrast of the road and pavement was insufficient.

Mr Jarvie added: “But this is many steps backwards. The colour of these bollards is the exact same colour and shade as the road and white lines. That is before any consideration of the visibility at night.”

In a letter to Malcolm Macleod, Highland Council’s executive chief officer for infrastructure and development, Mr Jarvie also claimed the project is being rolled out “in secret” without councillors’ approval.

He said at the last Inverness City Committee, members voted for officers to develop design options for consideration at a future meeting.

He said: “Some visualisations were presented to us of what ‘could’ happen. However even those who agreed with this project commented on the black and white bollard design and raised concerns about the impact this could have – particularly on those with visual impairments.

“I didn’t agree with it, particularly as this council progresses something as vital as active travel in such a piecemeal fashion.

“But at least I left that meeting with the knowledge that this wouldn’t evolve further without member involvement and agreement.”

However, he said the new barriers were installed to his “utter horror”.

“I am at a total loss why this entire programme of works, which councillors are being asked to celebrate, has started and continues in such secrecy”, he added.

“I keep getting my updates on this programme from social media rather than this council. It is completely inexcusable for councillors to not even be aware such a large project is underway until it is done – again.

Mr Macleod said temporary measures will remain in place whilst physical distancing advice remains.

He said the changes recognise comments from the public and councillors and are  compliant with safety guidelines.

“In terms of those with visual impairments, additional space has been provided for both pedestrians and cyclists.  It is envisaged that users will continue to use the existing footway provision, except where required to make way for social distancing.”

He added: “This is not being done piecemeal, but will be part of a clearly thought out strategy, which will have full involvement from members and the public.  All of the proposals will be fully debated at committee in an open and transparent way.

New bollards being installed in Inverness

“Clearly permanent interventions will allow designs to consider all aspects and consultations with all groups will be essential to deliver designs that address all needs.  Temporary interventions are inevitably a compromise – they are not perfect but are a proportionate reaction to the pandemic.”

The Spaces for People fund was launched last April to help implement measures to ensure people can walk, wheel or cycle, while physically distancing and remaining safe from traffic.

The Highlands was allocated £2 million under the scheme and councillors last year pressed for the temporary measures to go further.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]