Tactile cues

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Tactile cues are changes to the path surface that are used to alert sighted and visually impaired people that there is a road crossing, flight of steps, seat or tactile orientation panel. Tactile cues can only practically be used on highly specified, well maintained paths, such as shared use pedestrian / cycle paths, otherwise the path user will not be able to sense the change in the surface. The Department for Transport has developed guidance on the use of tactile surfaces and this should be followed to avoid confusing path users with inappropriate cues.

cycleway paving

Tactile pedestrian / cycleway paving (© Paving Expert)

If you are intending to provide tactile cues to assist with the enjoyment of the path, you will need to find a way of informing people what each cue means and what to expect. This could be through the use of trailhead information, for example, with sample cues.

The Fieldfare Trust Countryside for All Good Practice Guide (2005) states that tactile cues must cover the full width of the surface and be 800mm long. Materials used to form tactile cues must be securely attached to the existing surface with a maximum lip of 5mm so that the cue does not cause a trip hazard or make access difficult for other people.

To find out more about tactile surfaces have a look here.

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