The Albert Memorial

Open letter from The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to Guide Dogs for the Blind

5 January 2010

Following Lord Carlile of Berriew QC’s refusal to grant permission to Guide Dogs for the Blind to apply for a judicial review against the Exhibition Road project, Cllr Merrick Cockell, Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has appealed to the charity to work with the Council to make Exhibition Road the most accessible cultural destination in the world for all users.

In an open letter Cllr Cockell said that as the existing road layout of Exhibition Road is not safe, he hoped that the two organisations could now work together rather than pursue further court cases.

The letter to Bridget Warr, CEO of The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association reads as follows:

I understand that Lord Carlile of Berriew QC has refused permission to your organisation to apply for a judicial review against the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea with regard to the Exhibition Road project.

I believe that Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Council are pursuing a similar goal: ensuring Exhibition Road is the most accessible cultural destination in the world. I hope that at this point we can work together to pursue this aim. With over one hundred accidents in the area over the past three years, it is clear that the current street design is not safe, and I feel it is incumbent on both our organisations to use our limited resources to improve the design for all users, rather than pursue further court cases.

Your organisation has been a member of the Exhibition Road Access Group since 2004 and is currently a member of the steering group for the PAMELA research being carried out by University College London. I do hope from now on our organisations can work together in the interests of all those who use Exhibition Road.