Letchworth woman who is registered blind feels she has lost her independence due to delays in repainting zebra crossing

Lily Barrett and the zebra crossing which is in need of a lick of paint.

Lily Barrett and the zebra crossing which is in need of a lick of paint. - Credit: Archant

A woman who is registered blind feels as if she has lost her independence after delays to repainting a zebra crossing have left her unable to get into Letchworth town centre safely.

Lily Barrett, who has lived in Hillshott with her husband Pat for the past 20 years, has been trying to persuade Ringway – which works on behalf of Herts County Council’s highways department – to repaint the zebra crossing at the bottom of Norton Way South for the best part of six months.

Trips to Brotherhood Hall, Central Methodist Church and everyday strolls to the town centre have been curtailed because the white paint – which Lily can normally make out – is wearing away.

Lily, whose sight continues to deteriorate, said: “I try to have an active and independent life, but my confidence has taken a knock over the past year because the zebra crossing at the bottom of my road has virtually disappeared.

“It’s impossible for me to locate the crossing and get into town, sometimes I cross on the wrong side of the beacon and on several occasions members of the public have had to rescue me from the road.

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“I have made lots of calls about the dangerous situation, but nothing has been done.

“I was told at one point last year that the matter was ‘in hand’, but now I find out that it will not be sorted out until at least April.

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“By this time I will either have lost all confidence in going out by myself or be the victim of an accident.

“Surely the preservation of a blind person’s independence is worth the repainting of one zebra crossing.”

Ringway divisional manager Kevin Carrol said: “We are aware that the road markings at this location need refreshing.

“We prioritise mandatory road markings over non-mandatory works within the county in line with the budget available each year.

“The area concerned is classed as mandatory and is on the list to be repainted in the next financial year.

“The majority of road marking works takes place during the spring and summer months due to the weather conditions.”

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