You are here

High Court setback for shared surface scheme

9 March 2010

Guide Dogs, the guide dogs training charity, has been granted leave to bring judicial review proceedings against a ‘shared surface’ scheme proposed by Kensington and Chelsea Council.

The plan would see pedestrians and cars share the street space on Exhibition Road, near the Royal Albert Hall, in a scheme doing away with traditional pavement delineation.

Mr Justice Wilkie, in the High Court, found that the charity had a case, and a substantial hearing on the issues raised is expected to take place in June.

Alex Rook, a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, who is acting for the charity, told Solicitors Journal the council had made a premature decision by going ahead with the scheme without assessing its likely impact on blind people.

Blind people use the curb as a navigation cue and one key concern is that the markings under consideration to separate the road from the pavement are not as safe.

“Research undertaken by University College London has shown that the tactile paving to be used in the scheme was less detectable when approached from the side,” he said.

“There must be real-life trials of the proposed scheme but Kensington and Chelsea have refused to, which, we argue, amounts to a failure to take account of relevant considerations and makes their decision unlawful,” he added.

Rook also argued that any derogation from the requirement in the Road Traffic Act that there should be a white line on the road, separating it from the pavement, must be approved by the secretary of state, but that the borough has failed to seek such consent.

Categorised in:

Charities Local government The Bar