boston_stump8_470_470x352Boston Disability Forum claims it is ‘shocking’ that members were given only five days to respond to plans for Boston’s Market Place.

The group was sent a health and safety report and a number of plans for consultation on March 5 with works planned to be carried out on March 11.

One of the proposals was to put three lines of granite sets across the pavement from the building line to the curb edge to guide visually impaired residents to the drop curb at the “walkway” across the market place from Dolphin Lane to Boston Learning Centre.

BDF secretary Becky Wood said: “We are not happy with how this is being dealt with and cannot be expected to respond in such a short time. We think it is shocking the forum has been given less than one week’s notice about the works.”

Suzanne Allott , community engagement officer with the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, said: “An email from Lincolnshire County Council said this ‘should’ be enough for a long cane user to pick up. Unfortunately, without knowing the texture of these sets, or if they are raised above the height of the pavement, how can we know?

“While we would welcome meaningful consultation, the presentation of basic visual plans, with little actual detail, out of the blue with five days to discuss and respond does not count as meaningful consultation.

“I think many of the issues in the market place could have been avoided if the views of all stakeholders had been properly taken into account in the first place.

“The market place is essentially used as a through road, and without traffic calming measures, it is not safe for any person with a visual impairment or any mobility issues to cross the market place at this point, so they are forced to go all the way around.”

But Lincolnshire County Council said it has been consulting with Boston Disability Forum for more than a year.

Area highways manager Andy Wharff said: “We have listened to the group’s concerns and are set to attend their next meeting so that we can agree a way forward.”

By Lincolnshire Echo