Trans pedestrian crossing unveiled in London to show ‘everyone is welcome’

Transversion in Camden

The move was revealed near a queer bookstore in Camden (Photo: Danny Beales)

A new ‘trans-transition’ for road users has been installed in one London district.

The initiative aims to show that ‘everyone is welcome’ in Camden in the northern part of the capital – but disability advocates have expressed concern over the plan, with activists highlighting how it can confuse guide dogs.

New road markings showing the blue, white and pink flags – representing the transgender community – make the crossing one of the first of its kind in the UK.

It was unveiled on Monday near Gay’s The Word – a local bookstore selling queer fiction and other literature.

Councilor Danny Beales, Minister of Culture, explained on Twitter: ‘Today we opened the first transflag crossing in Camden.

‘Nice to make a clear statement that everyone is welcome in Camden! An honor to be a part of making this happen. ‘

Sasha Misra, Associate Director of Communications and Campaigns at Stonewall, told “At a time when transgender people are increasingly questioning their identities, it’s inspiring to see Camden Council win and represent their lived experiences. with crossing.

‘This simple yet powerful gesture greatly helps trans residents and visitors to feel seen and safe’.

But the movement met with a backlash for not recognizing the impact it could have on another minority group.

Twitter user Mik Scarlett, a self-described inclusion expert and wheelchair user, said: ‘Shame that Camden is pitting different excluded groups against each other.

‘To support the trans community, you exclude the disabled community. So easy to create designs that support both, but again, people with disabilities are let down. ‘

Sir. Beales responded, saying he would be happy to discuss the issue in person.

But the initiative won support from other sides, with the local LGBT charity forum + declaring itself “proud to have taken part in the unveiling”.

Director Tessa Havers-Strong said: ‘The unveiling of the first Trans crossing in Camden is a wonderful tribute to our community.

“The Trans Cross is a bright and courageous statement of celebration and support for trans people and will be a proud symbol of Camden’s continued commitment to the fight for equality for the entire LGBTQ + community.”

Various similar initiatives have been painted on pedestrian crossings in other parts of the country, including ‘rainbow crossings’ in Lambeth, south London, Brighton and Oxford.

Transport for All, a disability campaign group, wrote to the mayor of London in September outlining ‘significant concerns’ about ‘colorful crossings’.

The group highlighted how blind and partially sighted people need consistent and predictable signage; those with learning disabilities may have difficulty interpreting the paintings as a cross; people with dementia may misinterpret the markings and those with autism may experience ‘sensory overload’ from ‘visual noise’.

There have also long been concerns about the initiatives among people who use guide dogs.

But in a statement, the Camden Council said: ‘Ensuring that crossings are safe and clear has been the Council’s priority on all occasions. Prior to the installation of the Transgender Awareness Crossing, Camden conducted a full Equality Impact Assessment and Road Safety Audit and is committed to engaging with disability groups to discuss the availability of the transition. ‘

It added that it had taken steps to keep the design and layout simple, with essential road markings clear.

The council said it put the junction at a signaled junction and kept standard traffic features such as stop lines and stubs in place, but would continue to work with disability groups if further action is needed.

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