Colchester Talking Newspaper is the first in England to include up-to-date information about local roadworks in its weekly recordings aimed at the blind and visually impaired, using information supplied by Essex County Council.
Barriers, trenches and diversions involved in most roadworks can be very inconvenient or dangerous to people who don’t have good eyesight, so it is a valuable service.
Essex County Council supplies details about planned roadworks, which all require a permit, to a company called Elgin which publishes a comprehensive map online at www.roadworks.org
There is a tailored view of the site linked through the Council’s website at www.essex.gov.uk/highways
then Interactive Maps and Live Travel then Live Traffic Map.
Elgin sends a weekly email to Colchester Talking Newspapers who use their local knowledge to adapt the information for the maximum benefit of local listeners.
Cllr Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation delivery said: “I am pleased that such good use is being made of our information about roadworks, for the benefit of visually impaired people in the county.”
Bob Finch from Colchester Talking Newspaper explained how they use the roadworks.org free service:
“There are often many local roadworks which have a real impact on the daily lives of visually impaired people in Colchester. This is not only confined to those works which are officially defined as having footway impact – our experience is that many, many more works cause problems to our visually impaired listeners as they go about their daily lives.”