Near-blind King's Lynn man slams lack of support from Norfolk County Council and West Norfolk Council
A near-blind man has slammed a lack of safety measures in Lynn for those who suffer with poor sight.
And he has challenged councillors to take a trip around the town blind-folded to gain first hand experience of the ordeal he faces on a daily basis.
However, Norfolk County Council has insisted that people with disabilities are taken into account when new roads or paths are being built.
The 77-year-old North Lynn man, who wished to remain anonymous, said his sight has deteriorated since 2007 due to damage to the back of his eye and cataract.
He requires a guide cane to walk - and he says it is particularly challenging for him to walk in Lynn compared to those who have guide dogs.
The man claims his plights have been ignored in the past by both the county council and West Norfolk Council - saying neither understands “how dangerous it is for people like myself”.
“The worst offender is the state of the paths. You can’t tell there’s big puddles in them, big monstrosities in the middle,” he said.
“If you didn’t know the town like I did, and you’ve got one of these (a cane), you’d walk straight into it.
“I’d challenge anybody from high up in the council to have my cane, no attendants, and walk round the precinct where I stay - and see how they get on.”
The man raised particular concern regarding what he describes as “black spots” throughout the town, where he finds it challenging to cross certain roads due to difficulties in hearing approaching vehicles.
He described an experience where he was forced to jump backwards to avoid an oncoming car he had been unable to see, and detailed one road in North Lynn he finds unacceptable.
“There’s no zebra crossing. They probably won’t do anything until someone gets killed, and that was nearly me,” he said.
“I take life in my own hands. They don’t take into account people like myself.
“The only way I can get around town is because I can memorise it, but a person from a different town who doesn’t know Lynn could fall and hurt themselves.”
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “We always ensure that any new highway scheme follows all the latest accessibility design standards for disabled people as it’s vital that we have good infrastructure which enables everyone to travel safely for work, study or leisure.
“Where people raise concerns about the safety of a highway feature, whether that be a junction, crossing, or kerb, we will investigate to ensure our highways and pavements are as safe as possible.”
The council added that anyone with complaints can report their problems online at: www.norfolk.gov.uk/highwayproblem
West Norfolk Council did not comment on the matter due to it having no jurisdiction on the way roads and paths are designed or managed.