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Stockton-on-Tees Street Charter

As part of the Royal National Institute of Blind People's 'Who put that there' campaign, Local Authorities were asked to develop a street charter to address inaccessibility in the built environment.

Our charter was developed in partnership with representatives from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) including their local volunteer campaigner and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

It aims to address the 6 most common obstacles facing blind and partially sighted people:

  • parking on pavements
  • a-boards
  • inaccessible crossings
  • bins and recycling boxes on pavements
  • street furniture
  • developments that include shared space

More information on RNIB's 'Who put that there!' campaign can be found on the RNIB website.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Street Charter

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is dedicated to engaging positively with our residents and values their input on how we plan, develop and manage our built environment. Our 'street charter' sets out a list of actions and commitments, which everyone involved agrees to abide by. These have been formed under different headings, which represent the main issues that pedestrians, particularly those that are blind or partially sighted people face when negotiating the built environment in Stockton-on-Tees.

Advertising boards and street and café furniture

We agree to:

  • work with local business owners to make them realise how advertising boards and street café furniture cause real difficulties pedestrians in particular those that are blind or partially sighted and to consider alternative forms of advertising
  • undertake regular street furniture audits in town centres to ensure that they are as safe as they can be
  • when town centres and neighbourhoods are redeveloped, proactively engage with blind and partially sighted people around design of the development and implementation of street furniture

 

Wheelie bins and recycling bags

We agree to:

  • require residents, where possible, to leave their bins at the curtilage of, but within, their property boundary
  • proactively encourage residents to be considerate in how they place their bins, which will include coverage in the annual 'Up Your Street' leaflet which is delivered to all homes in the borough on an annual basis
  • make sure that all bin crews are required to return bins to the same place and are made aware why it is so important to store bins as safely as possible

 

Overhanging shrubbery and branches

We agree to:

  • promote accessible ways for blind and partially sighted people to report overgrown shrubbery and branches through Care for your Area
  • act swiftly upon reports of overgrown shrubbery and branches by alerting the residents or taking action if it is a council owned property
  • proactively encourage residents to be considerate in managing their shrubbery and trees as part of our annual highway safety inspection programme

 

Parking on pavements

We agree to:

  • use our existing powers to endeavour to keep the pavement clear of obstructions caused by parked cars
  • work with the police to use their existing powers under the Highways Act and other legislation to endeavour to keep the pavement clear of obstructions caused by parked cars
  • work with the police to engage with blind and partially sighted people and the wider community to improve awareness of the dangers of parking on pavements

 

Crossings

We agree to:

  • undertake regular monitoring of the controlled crossing points across the Borough and adjust the crossing times to meet the needs of pedestrians accordingly
  • follow the national guidance and equalities legislation to ensure the correct use of audible beeps, rotating cones, tactile paving and dropped kerbs
  • assess requests for new crossing points and seek to provide these in the appropriate locations

 

New Council developments: shared space

We agree to:

  • in accordance with our Public Sector Equality Duty, involve and consult with blind and partially sighted people when new developments such as shared space schemes are put forward and make any necessary changes to the schemes
  • where this is not possible, we will consider whether or not the scheme should still go ahead

 

Consultation

We agree to:

  • engage with the Disability Advisory Group to assist in the development of major highway improvement schemes which are to have an accessibility impact

 

This Charter was signed by Signed by Councillor Nigel Cooke (Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport), Councillor Bob Cook (Leader of the Council) and Councillor Jim Beall (Deputy Leader of the Council) on 19 May 2016.

View the PDF version of the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Street Charter  (PDF) [293KB]