MP takes blindfolded walk

Echo: David Amess being led through Leigh by Guide Dogs for the Blind mobility instructor Norman McIver David Amess being led through Leigh by Guide Dogs for the Blind mobility instructor Norman McIver

MP David Amess has called on the Government to reconsider shared space schemes like City Beach in Southend after walking through the streets blindfolded.

The Conservative MP for Southend West called on Prime Minister David Cameron to look at Guide Dogs for the Blind’s recommendations on the schemes after the charity led him on a blindfolded walk through Leigh.

Shared spacem, which encourage motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to mingle freely, has been introduced on Southend seafront and outside Southend Victoria station.

Mr Amess told Mr Cameron: “Last week, I undertook a one and a half hour walk organised by Guide Dogs for the Blind to experience at first hand the difficulties that blind and partially sighted people experience as pedestrians. It was very tricky.”

Campaigners claim shared space schemes are dangerous as the level road and pavement surface means the blind and partially-sighted have no idea where they are standing.

The concept, in which pedestrians are meant to be able to step out in front of a car without fear of an accident, also relies on the pedestrian making eye contact with a driver to establish who has right of way, which is almost impossible for those with sight problems.

Guide Dogs for the Blind’s mobility instructor Norman McIver and guide dog Zeeta led Mr Amess through Leigh Road and London Road, in Leigh, which proved especially difficult in terms of disabled mobility.

The MP said: “This was a very valuable experience. It has opened my eyes to the many difficulties that blind and partially sighted people must experience in their everyday lives, performing some of the most basic activities, such as shopping.

“It was a very odd feeling to suddenly lose one of my most important senses, and I now ever more appreciate the wonderful work that guide dogs and their dedicated instructors are doing across the country to help the blind.”

Mr Cameron said: “I will look carefully at what my honourable friend says.

“Everyone has noticed the huge amount of improvements that have been made to the way in which streets, traffic lights and pavements are arranged for that purpose. I amhappy to look at what he says and see what more needs to be done.”

Comments (21)

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11:50am Tue 18 Feb 14

whateverhappened says...

Quite right serious and valulable point he's making although..The MP said:It has opened my eyes to the many difficulties that blind and partially sighted people must experience in their everyday lives, could maybe been worded a little nicer
Quite right serious and valulable point he's making although..The MP said:It has opened my eyes to the many difficulties that blind and partially sighted people must experience in their everyday lives, could maybe been worded a little nicer whateverhappened

11:58am Tue 18 Feb 14

Jack222 says...

I am very tired of all the rights claimed by the disabled. There are, for example, far too many parking spaces reserved for them. If shared spaces work for the majority of the people then great - in life someone has to not win.
I am very tired of all the rights claimed by the disabled. There are, for example, far too many parking spaces reserved for them. If shared spaces work for the majority of the people then great - in life someone has to not win. Jack222

12:06pm Tue 18 Feb 14

scrounger‎ says...

The problem with the shared space on City Beach is that cars have to travel at 20mph so they form into a long line and when you do get a space you find a long line of cars coming the other way. Very dangerous to push your way though just to try and prove it's a shared space. It's kind of like the food chain, cars are always at the top, I want a proper crossing.
The problem with the shared space on City Beach is that cars have to travel at 20mph so they form into a long line and when you do get a space you find a long line of cars coming the other way. Very dangerous to push your way though just to try and prove it's a shared space. It's kind of like the food chain, cars are always at the top, I want a proper crossing. scrounger‎

12:16pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Happy Chickie says...

Jack222 wrote:
I am very tired of all the rights claimed by the disabled. There are, for example, far too many parking spaces reserved for them. If shared spaces work for the majority of the people then great - in life someone has to not win.
The blue badge is one of the most abused benefits i have ever seen.
[quote][p][bold]Jack222[/bold] wrote: I am very tired of all the rights claimed by the disabled. There are, for example, far too many parking spaces reserved for them. If shared spaces work for the majority of the people then great - in life someone has to not win.[/p][/quote]The blue badge is one of the most abused benefits i have ever seen. Happy Chickie

12:17pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Happy Chickie says...

Amess by name, Amess by nature,
Amess by name, Amess by nature, Happy Chickie

12:26pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Kim Gandy says...

I'm sure Dogsmessinleigh would like to invite him to conduct a similar experiment!
I'm sure Dogsmessinleigh would like to invite him to conduct a similar experiment! Kim Gandy

12:26pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Kim Gandy says...

Jack222 wrote:
I am very tired of all the rights claimed by the disabled. There are, for example, far too many parking spaces reserved for them. If shared spaces work for the majority of the people then great - in life someone has to not win.
No actually the parking spaces are usually taken by people like you
[quote][p][bold]Jack222[/bold] wrote: I am very tired of all the rights claimed by the disabled. There are, for example, far too many parking spaces reserved for them. If shared spaces work for the majority of the people then great - in life someone has to not win.[/p][/quote]No actually the parking spaces are usually taken by people like you Kim Gandy

12:41pm Tue 18 Feb 14

You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat says...

High time Mr Amess was Knighted, such a wonderful MP.
High time Mr Amess was Knighted, such a wonderful MP. You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat

12:52pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Elephantman2 says...

The trouble with the shared space is that many motorists believe they have superior rights to any other road user. They don't and many motorist like myself are fed up with those arrogant buffoons who believe that is the case. The shared space is great for Southend and should be left as it is.
The trouble with the shared space is that many motorists believe they have superior rights to any other road user. They don't and many motorist like myself are fed up with those arrogant buffoons who believe that is the case. The shared space is great for Southend and should be left as it is. Elephantman2

1:05pm Tue 18 Feb 14

woodsey23 says...

Don't tell Mr Ames, but I think someone has nicked his guide dog. I cant see it in the picture, all I can see is the harness it should be in. I also think his statement "it's opened my eyes" is a bit near the mark for a blind person!!!!!!!!!!
Don't tell Mr Ames, but I think someone has nicked his guide dog. I cant see it in the picture, all I can see is the harness it should be in. I also think his statement "it's opened my eyes" is a bit near the mark for a blind person!!!!!!!!!! woodsey23

2:00pm Tue 18 Feb 14

GTA Essex says...

So basically his taking the pi55 out of blind people.
So basically his taking the pi55 out of blind people. GTA Essex

2:03pm Tue 18 Feb 14

profondo asbo says...

You'dfeelbetterforkn
owingthat
wrote:
High time Mr Amess was Knighted, such a wonderful MP.
knighted or crowned?
[quote][p][bold]You'dfeelbetterforkn owingthat[/bold] wrote: High time Mr Amess was Knighted, such a wonderful MP.[/p][/quote]knighted or crowned? profondo asbo

2:32pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

The only reason shared Space doesn't work is motorists who refuse to slow down.
The only reason shared Space doesn't work is motorists who refuse to slow down. Keptquiettillnow

3:16pm Tue 18 Feb 14

whateverhappened says...

The reason shared space does not work is simple, for 80 years we have been taught to drive in the the road whilst pedestrians use the pavement. You cannot expect to change that mindset overnight in two little parts of southend.
The reason shared space does not work is simple, for 80 years we have been taught to drive in the the road whilst pedestrians use the pavement. You cannot expect to change that mindset overnight in two little parts of southend. whateverhappened

5:03pm Tue 18 Feb 14

ThisYear says...

Happy Chickie wrote:
Jack222 wrote:
I am very tired of all the rights claimed by the disabled. There are, for example, far too many parking spaces reserved for them. If shared spaces work for the majority of the people then great - in life someone has to not win.
The blue badge is one of the most abused benefits i have ever seen.
The blue badge scheme is not a benefit! It is a contract.
[quote][p][bold]Happy Chickie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jack222[/bold] wrote: I am very tired of all the rights claimed by the disabled. There are, for example, far too many parking spaces reserved for them. If shared spaces work for the majority of the people then great - in life someone has to not win.[/p][/quote]The blue badge is one of the most abused benefits i have ever seen.[/p][/quote]The blue badge scheme is not a benefit! It is a contract. ThisYear

5:07pm Tue 18 Feb 14

runwellian says...

You'dfeelbetterforkn
owingthat
wrote:
High time Mr Amess was Knighted, such a wonderful MP.
What has he ever done for his constituents.
I have lived locally fro over 20 years and never set eyes on him, other than the day he ran and hid in hairdressers shop when his own people challenged him about expenses.

Mr A-mess, by name and nature!
[quote][p][bold]You'dfeelbetterforkn owingthat[/bold] wrote: High time Mr Amess was Knighted, such a wonderful MP.[/p][/quote]What has he ever done for his constituents. I have lived locally fro over 20 years and never set eyes on him, other than the day he ran and hid in hairdressers shop when his own people challenged him about expenses. Mr A-mess, by name and nature! runwellian

7:56pm Tue 18 Feb 14

ThisYear says...

All A-frames can be moved without question..Done it myself..
All A-frames can be moved without question..Done it myself.. ThisYear

10:30pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Roger of Leigh says...

In Europe shared spaces in major towns and cities do not have kerbed roads running through them. If there is a kerb, it is a road and not a pedestrian area. Our engineers, yet again have got it wrong.
In Europe shared spaces in major towns and cities do not have kerbed roads running through them. If there is a kerb, it is a road and not a pedestrian area. Our engineers, yet again have got it wrong. Roger of Leigh

11:02pm Tue 18 Feb 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
I'm sure Dogsmessinleigh would like to invite him to conduct a similar experiment!
well if he didn't have a helper i am sure he would have stepped in some on the day.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: I'm sure Dogsmessinleigh would like to invite him to conduct a similar experiment![/p][/quote]well if he didn't have a helper i am sure he would have stepped in some on the day. DogsMessInLeigh

9:56am Wed 19 Feb 14

Southend_123 says...

runwellian wrote:
You'dfeelbetterforkn

owingthat
wrote:
High time Mr Amess was Knighted, such a wonderful MP.
What has he ever done for his constituents.
I have lived locally fro over 20 years and never set eyes on him, other than the day he ran and hid in hairdressers shop when his own people challenged him about expenses.

Mr A-mess, by name and nature!
Hello Runwellian, I am from Mr Amess' office. Mr Amess is always sure to help constituents where he can. If you write to him with an issue you have he'll get back to you as soon as possible and try his best to sort it out. We look forward to hearing from you
[quote][p][bold]runwellian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]You'dfeelbetterforkn owingthat[/bold] wrote: High time Mr Amess was Knighted, such a wonderful MP.[/p][/quote]What has he ever done for his constituents. I have lived locally fro over 20 years and never set eyes on him, other than the day he ran and hid in hairdressers shop when his own people challenged him about expenses. Mr A-mess, by name and nature![/p][/quote]Hello Runwellian, I am from Mr Amess' office. Mr Amess is always sure to help constituents where he can. If you write to him with an issue you have he'll get back to you as soon as possible and try his best to sort it out. We look forward to hearing from you Southend_123

9:39pm Wed 19 Feb 14

ThisYear says...

Southend_123 wrote:
runwellian wrote:
You'dfeelbetterforkn


owingthat
wrote:
High time Mr Amess was Knighted, such a wonderful MP.
What has he ever done for his constituents.
I have lived locally fro over 20 years and never set eyes on him, other than the day he ran and hid in hairdressers shop when his own people challenged him about expenses.

Mr A-mess, by name and nature!
Hello Runwellian, I am from Mr Amess' office. Mr Amess is always sure to help constituents where he can. If you write to him with an issue you have he'll get back to you as soon as possible and try his best to sort it out. We look forward to hearing from you
Hi, perhaps you can answer or get him to answer the allegation he ran and hid when challenged about expenses?
[quote][p][bold]Southend_123[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]runwellian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]You'dfeelbetterforkn owingthat[/bold] wrote: High time Mr Amess was Knighted, such a wonderful MP.[/p][/quote]What has he ever done for his constituents. I have lived locally fro over 20 years and never set eyes on him, other than the day he ran and hid in hairdressers shop when his own people challenged him about expenses. Mr A-mess, by name and nature![/p][/quote]Hello Runwellian, I am from Mr Amess' office. Mr Amess is always sure to help constituents where he can. If you write to him with an issue you have he'll get back to you as soon as possible and try his best to sort it out. We look forward to hearing from you[/p][/quote]Hi, perhaps you can answer or get him to answer the allegation he ran and hid when challenged about expenses? ThisYear

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