Buxton blind woman’s cycle near miss prompts appeal

Sarah Wynn-Jones and her guide dog ushi. A cyclist nearly knocked her over in Buxton.
Sarah Wynn-Jones and her guide dog ushi. A cyclist nearly knocked her over in Buxton.

A blind Buxton woman who was left shaken after almost being knocked over by a passing cyclist says riders should be more wary of people with limited sight.

Sarah Wynn-Jones, who is registered as blind, was visiting her bank on Monday when a cyclist, said to be riding the wrong way down a one-way system, nearly knocked her over.

The 59-year-old, of Hogshaw Drive, said: “I was left almost in tears and shaking after it happened. Blind people already have low confidence about going out on their own, and when things like this happen you can see why.”

Since the age of 19, Sarah has suffered from Retinitis Pigmentosa, an eye condition which causes severe vision impairment due to the progressive degeneration of cells in the eye. This has got steadily worse, and she has lost 89 per cent of her vision.

Sarah was heading to the NatWest, on the corner of Terrace Road and Spring Gardens, with her guide dog Ushi, a Labrador and retriever cross, when the incident happened.

She said: “It is hard enough to walk around Buxton with all the A-boards and cafe furniture on the streets. I was trying to cross over from where the railings are, to get to the bank, when this cyclist came out of nowhere at a rate of knots. I don’t know how we didn’t get hurt.”

Ushi is trained to not let Sarah walk out if there are any dangers, but fast-moving cyclists on a pedestrian area present problems for her.

Sarah said: “It’s not like being in a car which makes a noise, bikes are really quiet. This makes them more dangerous for those with visual problems.

“I want people to take more care, especially as it is getting darker earlier, and for me that really limits what I can see.”