Microreports

Mary reports on the thorny problem of Camden’s street clutter

The thorny problem of Camden's street clutter


Reported by Mary

Published on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

Croftdown Road, London

street access
Microreports

Mary reports on the thorny problem of Camden’s street clutter

The thorny problem of Camden's street clutter


Written by Mary

Published on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

Croftdown Road, London.

street access

As a blind person I am regularly faced with obstructions when making simple trips in the community. Just a walk down my own road can be fraught with hazards, making it more difficult for me to get out and about on my own.

Mary in front of a bush and a bin
Mary’s walk down Croftdown road is impeded by a tree stump, an overhanging bush and a rubbish bin.

In this photo I am presented with three problems. Firstly, there is a massively overgrown rose bush which I have to navigate past to avoid having my face cut by its thorns. Secondly, there is a tree stump that could easily trip me up if I don’t manage to detect it with my cane. This last one is a constant problem in this area: rows of large black bins left permanently out on the pavement.

Blind people like myself and other Disabled people living in Camden need an easy-to-find direct landline number which we can use to report access problems.

There is no obvious place on the Camden Council website to report any of these three obstructions. The last time I asked the council to remove some street clutter I couldn’t work out how or who to complain to so I ended up asking someone who I’d interacted with regarding other matters to help me out as a favour. This person eventually found someone in the Council who could do something about the obstruction, but it took weeks.

This doesn’t seem an appropriate way to deal with this. There should be a simpler way for a disabled person to get action taken to remove obstructions. Blind people like myself and other Disabled people living in Camden need an easy-to-find direct landline number which we can use to report access problems. This should be made available to all Disabled people in the borough, including those who don’t use the internet.

To read Mary’s letter to the Camden New Journal about street clutter click here

Written by Mary


I have lived in Camden since the late 70s (last century!). Following a history degree, I worked in Kings Cross for a trade union for a few years. After leaving I worked with homeless women in Soho and then in Camden working with young offenders on release from prison. I then retrained as a Social Worker at Bristol, working in the area of domestic violence. As a disabled women, I made sure that refuges were accessible and that there was accessible information about them available. I have been involved for several years in local disabled service user groups in Camden, and have chaired Visually Impaired in Camden and a member of that group for many years. I am also a trustee of Camden Disability Action. Since COVID 19 I am unable to go shopping alone or visit other disabled friends. My mobility has been severely curtailed, like many other disabled people. I am still keen however to ensure that transport and streets are accessible to all and that pressure is put on local authorities and transport providers to help bring this about.

Read all of Mary's articles

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