PICTURES: MP walks town centre partially-sighted

MP for East Worthing and Shoreham Tim Loughton has voiced his concerns of the danger advertising boards pose for the partially sighted.

Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 12:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 12:18 pm
Frances Pritchard, from Worthing Society of the Blind, MP Tim Loughton, Barry Smith and Terri Dowty, South East regional campaign officer

Mr Loughton joined the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Worthing Society for the Blind (WSB) on Friday (January 20) to attempt to walk around Worthing town centre partially-sighted.

He walked down Warwick Street wearing goggles which simulate partial sight and was armed with a white cain.

He said: “The advertising boards out on the street pose a problem to the partially sighted because they can’t see them until they are on top of them.

MP Tim Loughton with Barrie Smith negotiate the precinct covered in A boards

“I must admit, I don’t know the current law on them but I know in Shoreham they must be within a distance to the shop. This is something which could be implemented here.

“We will have a word with the Worthing Town Centre Initiative to see if there is something we can do about this issue.”

Mr Loughton was joined by WSB member Barrie Smith, 66, who is partially sighted.

Mr Smith added: “I would love for advertising boards to be banned in Worthing. I can’t read them anyway so they are no good to me.”

MP Tim Loughton attempting to descend stairs wearing a pair of glasses which simulate being partially sighted

Terry Dowty, campaign officer for RNIB South East, wants Worthing to follow in the footsteps of Portsmouth and York and ban advertising boards altogether.

She said: “We should not have boards at all so the partially sighted can use the outline of the buildings to get around safely.”

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Barrie Smith tells MP Tim Loughton the difficulties he has in negotiating A boards

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MP Tim Loughton with Barrie Smith negotiate the precinct covered in A boards

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MP Tim Loughton attempting to descend stairs wearing a pair of glasses which simulate being partially sighted
Barrie Smith tells MP Tim Loughton the difficulties he has in negotiating A boards