Policy research

Road and street crossings for blind and partially sighted people:  The importance of being certain.

Guide Dogs commissioned the University of Leeds in May 2014 to carry out an investigative study named The importance of being certain, which consisted of a review of existing literature and a small but targeted sample of expert stakeholders interviews. These took in a range of viewpoints to find out the importance of road crossings, the extent of use and reliance on road crossings for blind and partially sighted people.


This research demonstrates that blind and partially sighted people feel that the controlled crossing provides a greater degree of certainty for them about when it is safe to cross; a level of certainty that serves to reduce the stress of road crossing and which cannot be readily achieved with uncontrolled or informal crossing points.

Safer Crossings: Qualitative Research

In addition, Guide Dogs commissioned qualitative research amongst blind and partially sighted people to gain their views in the form of six focus groups conducted with blind and partially sighted people in six towns and cities in England, Wales and Scotland to get a nationwide view of personal experiences and concerns about road crossings.

The investigative study did reveal that there is an absence of research regarding the importance of crossings for blind and partially sighted people.

It also revealed that blind and partially sighted pedestrians rely on controlled crossings particularly in high trafficked areas as opposed to other crossings. Between options of a zebra or no crossing at all, they would go for the zebra crossing even though they found it more challenging and stress inducing.

It was noted that the removal of crossings is more predominant in shared space schemes and the absence of controlled crossings and a detectable separation between the pavement and road were causing great difficulties for blind and partially sighted people.




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The Importance Of Being Cerain

Safer Crossing Qualitive Research