Blind Buxton woman highlights the hazards she faces on the town's pavements

A blind Buxton woman has highlighted the struggles and hazards she faces every day after taking the High Peak’s MP on a walk around the town centre.

Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 5:35 pm

Sarah Wynn-Jones is working to raise awareness of how difficult it is to get out and about in Buxton and says more needs to be done to make the pavements accessible for all.

The 62-year-old who lives on Hogshaw Drive said: “I avoid going out in Buxton town centre at all costs because it’s just too dangerous.

“It is so wrong I can’t go for a nice walk where I live or go to a cafe and meet friends because it’s too stressful and something needs to be done.”

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Sarah Wynn-Jones took High Peak MP Robert Largan for a walk around Buxton to highlight the hazards on the town's pavements

Last week Sarah invited High Peak MP Robert Largan to walk the normal route she takes with her guide dog, Maggie, and see the hazards from her point of view.

She said: “For a sighted person a tree root sticking up in the pavement isn’t a problem but to a blind person it is a hazard which my dog has to steer me around.

“The same goes for parked cars, advertising A frames and tables and chairs out on the street.

“I think walking with Robert was good as it allowed him to understand the struggles people are facing, not just me but mums with pushchairs and those with limited mobility too.”

Sarah has suffered from Retinitis Pigmentosa, an eye condition which causes severe vision impairment due to the progressive degeneration of cells in the eye, since she was 19.

Now she has lost almost all of her vision in her left eye and around 90 per cent in her right eye.

She said: “I just want to raise awareness of the little things people can do to make a difference to help others.”

Speaking after the walk around, High Peak MP Robert Largan said: “Things like bins, tree roots and cracked pavements can cause real problems for those who are blind or partially sighted.

“It is encouraging the council has taken steps to help people like Sarah in parts of Buxton, like on Hardwick Mount.

“But others like Lightwood Road and Lansdowne Road still have real issues, particularly with prominent tree roots.

“I’ll be taking lots of issues up with the council as a result of my afternoon with Sarah and Maggie.”

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