THERE are no plans to change the shared space in Cirencester town centre after a government recommendation that similar schemes should be halted.

The Department of Transport has announced that shared space roads should be stopped after it was said that the scheme was not fit for blind, partially sighted, disabled people.

They also recommended that local authorities should take action on this advice.

The National Federation of the Blind of the UK have backed the government's recommendation and welcome the news.

Despite the recommendation from the government, Cirencester Town Council have no plans to change the design.

A spokesperson for Cirencester Town Council said: "We welcome this guidance having recently won a national design award for the scheme which recognises the innovative design in reducing traffic, improving accessibility and enhancing the public realm.

"Unlike other shared space schemes the one in Cirencester took account of mobility access concerns and incorporated kerbs and formal belisha beacon crossing points in to the design.

"Various independent audits have been carried out including road safety audits as part of the legal agreement with Gloucester County Council to carry out work on a public highway. "None of which have raised any issues relating to the kerbs or removal of the traffic lights.

"In receiving the award from Civic Voice it was noted that the scheme demonstrated the power of urban design in helping to enliven our historic high streets with Cirencester setting the example for Conservation Areas across the country."

Sarah Gayton, the federations shared space coordinator added: "This is overwhelming news, and comes after years of the NFBUK’s members raising concerns on these issues.

"It is clear from the response we got from the Global Disability Summit held in London, that disabled people do not want to share space with moving vehicles, and all wanted urgent improvements made to the built environment to ensure access for all.

"They key theme of the conference was ‘To Leave Nobody Behind’, shared space does that leading to further isolation of already marginalised people in society and we are pleased to see the back of it”.