Blind Ottery residents' 'death trap' fear

PUBLISHED: 16:09 15 May 2010 | UPDATED: 13:58 18 June 2010

PAVEMENTS and roads in Ottery have been labelled a death trap for the visually impaired.

PAVEMENTS and roads in Ottery have been labelled a "death trap" for the visually impaired.

Registered blind resident Anne Decent, who founded Vision OM a decade ago, said cyclists and parked cars on pavements, wheelie bins, overhanging shrubs and 'clutter' left outside shops, make life "very difficult" for those who can't see.

Other residents branded the situation "an accident waiting to happen" at Ottery's annual parish meeting on Tuesday.

Mrs Decent called for a traffic measure to allow for safer crossing of Broad Street.

"Because of my sight and training I have learned to be sensible and go to the crossing at the post office," she said.

"I know so many ordinary sighted people try to cross that road. It's a death trap, something should be done."

She said residents who leave wheelie bins and rubbish sacks in the street make life "doubly difficult" for the visually impaired, adding: "If we walk in the road we'll be run over."

Cyclists who travel on the pavement 'the wrong way' up Mill Street came in for criticism.

"I've seen adults stepping off the pavement to get out the way of cyclists," said Hazel Gifford, "it's an accident waiting to happen."

Mayor Glyn Dobson said he had sympathy for Mrs Decent and vowed to address her concerns. He added district and county councils were responsible for the issues.

District Councillor David Cox said residents who leave wheelie bins and rubbish sacks in the street unnecessarily can be prosecuted.

PC Phil Thomas reminded cyclists that travelling on the pavement is an offence that can be punished with an on the spot £30 fine, adding officers would use their discretion, especially if children were involved.

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