Forums Forums Traffic Signals Doing away with audibles on crossings

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    Hi Ian and Chris,

    Audible signals or lack of them was the bane of my life during my career with Guide Dogs for the Blind. Of course, the addition of tactile cones gave the impression of helping but in the vast majority of installations the cone is at the periphery of the tactile paving and then in the worst cases nowhere need the kerb edge. The following gives an idea as to where this issue can cross over into the realms really dangerous.

    I understood the challenges faced by not only the visually impaired pedestrian but also the traffic engineer who had to ensure that the pavement width allowed for buggies, mobility scooters, wheelchairs and the like. Understanding how a visually impaired person uses their mobility aid has given me a unique insight to take into the traffic industry and I shouldn’t wonder that I am the only Guide Dog Mobility Instructor who is now working in the traffic industry.

    ultimately people will ask for the solution that is available rather than the solution that works as they know of nothing else but as Chris has said the Neatebox solution has the potential to really make a massive difference for those less able and their ability to not only cross the road safely but also independently.

    this last clip is from a BBC report on our work

    great to have the opportunity to discuss on this forum.


    Chris Pearson

    Must admit I do get a few complaints about missing audibles in my own area as well – and like you say, on sites that have never had them – although audibles in my area are hit and miss due to historical reasons rather than standard.

    I think perhaps with the advent of technology like Neatebox and it’s eventual successors that push buttons and tactile devices will become redundant in the fullness.

    I think a lot of our current standards though are too prescriptive and haven’t moved with the times; Level 3 access being a case in point.


    With all the complaints we get about no audibles on dual crossings it crossed (sorry!) my mind that maybe there was a case for doing away with audibles altogether. Afterall if we can manage without them on duals why can’t we manage without them on single crossings. Now I accept that’s probably easier in Derby than in some other Authorities as we have fitted tactile knobs to every crossing in the City due to a high proportion of deaf-blind residents but wondered what others thought of the suggestion.
    On a related note, we recently refurbished 2 dual crossings and residents complained that we had not put the audibles back even though there had never been any in the first place. Some of them swore blind there had been!!

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