BLIND people are being put in danger on troubled Wellington Street.

That's the view of the former chairman of Swindon Guide Dogs Alan Fletcher.

He says the £850,000 'front door' is a problem as there is no clear difference between the cycle path and walkway.

It uses 'textured paving' to differentiate between the cycle and pedestrian side.

But Mr Fletcher says that's not enough and he fears being hit by cyclists.

The 71-year-old, who was consulted on the Wellington Street construction along with the Royal National Institute of Blind People said: “It delineates, but you can’t tell which part is which.

"I could be walking down the cycle path when I should be walking down the pedestrian side, you can’t tell.

“And let me tell you, it hurts when cyclists crash into you.”

He is calling on Swindon Borough Council to lower the cycle path – effectively making it the same level as the road with a kerb – so that there is a clear difference between the two types of pavement.

But due to it being classed as 'shared space'', the council says government guidelines do not make this a requirement.

Mr Fletcher said: “We said that it needs a kerb, but we weren’t spoken to until last year when the plans were put on show to the public.

“They then had to pull up all the paving because they put in the wrong type of grout. We asked for a kerb then, but we got no answer.

“We went to see what it was like and the layout isn’t very good at all.

“There were cyclists in the pedestrian areas, pedestrians on the cyclist areas.

"And pedestrians have to cross the cycle path to get to the crossing. It’s not very good, especially as it’s supposed to be the gateway into Swindon.

“The council is short sighted. It's got it into its head that that’s what it is and that’s what it is going to be.

“If it carries on using the current design for the rest of Swindon then it’s going to be a big problem.

“We just want to make sure everybody is safe, including the cyclists.”

Earlier this week, the Adver reported that the path was being dug up to remove ribbed paving that had upset residents due to the noise made when people walked over it.

Mr Fletcher said: “They phoned us up to say they were taking it up because of the complaints from residents and they asked us what we thought about it.

“We told them then that we wanted a kerb and they just said there is no chance of that happening.

“If they’ve already spent close to £1 million on the road, why not go that little bit further and help us out?

“Swindon is pretty good at ignoring guidance.”

“If you’re visually impaired and coming to Swindon for the first time then it won’t be welcoming and you’ll be very confused.”

Wellington Street is not the only area that Mr Fletcher is worried about. He said: “I’m concerned because the cycle path ends at the crossing to the bus station and then on that side there is no cycle path.

“As soon as they pass the crossing, it’s a free-for-all – there’s no separation.

“As a gateway to the town it’s not very welcoming.”

Yesterday, a spokesman for the borough council said: “Separating the pedestrian and cycle lanes with a dropped kerb was not incorporated into the original design for Wellington Street because it would have been contrary to national government guidelines concerning shared space areas.

“The design has been subjected to a formal and independent road safety audit and was carried out in consultation with the RNIB.

“The development was one of the council’s key town centre regeneration pledges.

"It has created a more welcoming environment around the railway station and a clearer route into the town centre.”

Wellington Street, which cost £851,000 to build, has suffered numerous problems, both during its construction and since the opening in June. They include the noise and puddles forming.