Blind man's plea for pedestrian crossing at busy road rejected by council

Duncan Ross has spent two years calling for crossings - but the council says the road doesn't meet the criteria.

An Aberdeenshire man who has been registered blind since birth says he isn’t able to live life to its fullest due to a lack of pedestrian crossings.

Duncan Ross, 36, lives in Alford, Aberdeenshire and says he is too scared to cross the busy Main Street due to traffic.

He’s been campaigning for pedestrian crossings to be put in place – but Aberdeenshire Council says the road doesn’t meet the criteria.

Duncan, who has very little sight at all, has been asking the council for the crossings for two years.

He said: “I have been halfway across the road and the car has come and run over the top of my walking cane and they haven’t stopped to apologise.

“It hasn’t been a very good experience, but I’ve still got to do it otherwise I would still be in my house and not getting out at all and I think that is not the way to go.”

Duncan fears that without a crossing his independence and ability to go out for a walk or to meet friends will be at risk.

Duncan said a pedestrian crossing could encourage vehicles to slow down

He hopes the addition of a pedestrian crossing would also encourage cars to slow down.

He said: “I’m mainly out and about every day, I am quite active, but it is just sometimes I feel if I am out and about if I am going to get back in one piece.

“My support worker has been amazing. if I didn’t have that I don’t know where I would be, I would probably just be staying inside my house.”

He added that the lack of crossings is preventing him and others from living the same life as everyone else.

A spokesperson for Aberdeenshire Council’s Roads Network Management, said: “We have been in communication with Mr Ross to explore improvements that could be made locally, ranging from installation of additional tactile paving at existing dropped crossing points to alternative safer routes with tactile paving at dropped crossing points already in place.

“The road in question was most recently inspected in March of this year, and, unfortunately, this section does not meet the criteria for a formal crossing under current council policy.”

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