VIDEO: Sheffield councillor walks blindfolded on World Sight Day

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Wheelie bins, tram tracks and overhanging bushes are all things most of us don’t give a second thought to navigating.

But for the visually impaired and blind, getting around Sheffield’s many hills, badly parked cars and scaffolding is a daily struggle.

Coun Jack Scott walks blindfolded on West Street on World Sight Day.

Coun Jack Scott walks blindfolded on West Street on World Sight Day.

Sheffield Council will now look at how to improve the situation after cabinet member for Streetscene Coun Jack Scott experienced a few minutes in the life of those with restricted eyesight.

He walked down busy West Street blindfolded, as well as wearing glasses that mimic eye conditions, to help Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind raise awareness of World Sight Day.

Coun Jack Scott, who said he had received half a dozen complaints about street clutter, said: “I felt really vulnerable, I was surprised at how much.

“I wasn’t expecting to feel so at risk and I had somebody walking with me so I wasn’t in danger.

“I had no idea where people where, about poles and scaffolding, where junctions were or if cars were coming.

“I was keen to try to experience, just for a few moments, what people have to put up with every day.

“It’s clear there is a really big problem, we need to do more to declutter our streets and make them accessible to people so I was pleased to be able to do it - what we need to do now is take some action to make sure our streets are safer and more accessible for everyone.”

The council will now look at making scaffolding more brightlyillustrated, checking tactile traffic lights work and the number of poles on roads - as one man told Coun Scott there were 17 in a 150m stretch of road he used every day - to make the city more ‘welcoming’.

Alan Thorpe, 50, walks with a guide dog as he has the degenerative condition retinitis pygmatosa.

He said: “Householders put their bins on the edge of the kerb or next to the wall, which isn’t a problem. but the bin men leave them everywhere.

“You have to walk in the road because they block the pavement. I haven’t been seriously injured but overhanging bushes do poke me in the eye. A-boards are illegal in Sheffield but nothing is done about them.

“There’s so many things that can be changed with just a little bit of thought.”