Humberside

Hull City Council defends 'gobbledygook' Braille paving

Braille paving stones in Hull
Image caption The Braille stones was only supposed to be an 'artistic interpretation', the council said

A council which installed Braille paving stones branded "gobbledygook" has said the slabs were only intended to be "creative".

Hull City Council had hoped the decorative stones would help raise the profile of those in the city who were visually impaired.

They were supposed to spell out the poem, The City Speaks, by Shane Rhodes.

But Braille teacher Barry Wheatley said it made no sense as the Braille is too big and lacks spaces between words.

The council said it was only intended to be "creative" tactile paving.

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Mr Wheatley said he initially thought the stones along Jameson Street and King Edward Street were a great idea but soon realised they were pointless.

'Artistic interpretation'

"Braille is the size of your fingertips and to get down on your knees and feel this, well it is meaningless," he said.

"Even if you are a sighted Braille reader then it is like reading a sentence in print without any spaces in it.

"It is just gobbledygook."

He also said it did not work to guide blind or partially sighted people down the street, as it ran into street furniture.

Councillor Martin Mancey said he did not believe anything had "gone wrong" with the paving, which had only recently been installed.

"It was never intended to be a clearly legible form of the poem, it was an artistic interpretation.

"It has already achieved one of its purposes which was to raise the awareness of the needs of blind and partially sighted people in the city centre."

He said he was not aware of any obstacles that prevented it being used as a navigational guide.

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