Tactile paving - walking difficulties?

Hi all,

The Government has launched a little consultation on reviewing its guidance around tactile paving - that bobbly textured paving which you can often find at crossing points, to help blind and partially-sighted people navigate.

We've heard from some people with Parkinson's previously that they find it difficult to walk on, but we wanted to get a sense of how widespread a problem it is, to help us shape our response to the consultation. 

It would be really helpful to know if you find it difficult to walk on tactile paving, and why that is?

The Government's guidance proposes making tactile paving stand out more from the surrounding pavement, introducing it anywhere the road and pavement are at the same level and making it diagonal or curved at crossings, instead of square. If you have any thoughts on how this might impact your ability to walk over it, that would be really helpful.

Thanks so much,




Hi Phil

I'm glad this is being discussed. I often comment to my husband when we are out that I feel this bumpy pavement is dangerous for Parkinson's sufferers.

I appreciate that it is an aid for blind people but I find it a major trip hazard especially when I am tired or my medication is wearing off  At such times I tend to drag my feet, shuffle rather than walk and have poor balance. These little bumps in the surface are more than enough to make me stumble.

Increasing the size of the raised bumps or changing the profile of the point of transition from the pavement to the road would just make the situation worse and I don;t think this only affects Parkinson's people. The infirm elderly or anybody with walking difficulties would have the same issues



Hi mrtoad

Thanks for sharing this. Phil will be back in the office on Monday and I'm sure he'll be really interested to hear your comments. I'll make sure he knows you've written. 


I've only just seen this thread - hope you're still interested in people's experiences.

I absolutely hate tactile paving! I find it extremely painful to walk on unless I'm wearing really thick-soled shoes (like DMs). I don't know if this is a PD symptom but the pain has got worse over the last year or so and now its coupled with not walking so well, so this has become a bit of a nightmare. My only solution is to walk around it but this isn't always possible.

I know this  paving is really helpful for blind/partially-sighted people, but I wish it wasn't used over such large areas - I've seen some that goes from the buildings right across the street to the kerb (surely this would be confusing for a blind person?). 




I'm not a town dweller, i live by the sea, but something tabbycat said has struck a chord, walking on shingle along the beach my feet are sensitive too different sized shingle, it can be a bit unbalancing if that is comparable too 'bobbly textured paving'??.

My friend, sadly now passed away, had painful feet due to rheumatoid arthritis and used to curse these bumps.  Also surely it  makes walking with a stick m,ore difficult for people with dodgy balance?

Far from raising the profile of the bumps they would probably work as well for those with siight loss if they were less knobbly given that many people with sight loss are more sensitive to touch

Hi all,

Thanks so much for your input, your views and experiences are going to be really helpful when I write Parkinson's UK's response to the consultations. 


Just a little while before my Mum was diagnosed, nearly 17 years ago now, she fell at a pedestrian crossing as she turned from walking along the pavement to then cross the road......she was on the bobbly paving for the blind at the time. I have often thought since diagnosis that the bobbles made it harder for her in the days pre-diagnosis (and so unmedicated) and that her soon to be diagnosed PD and the bobbles in combination resulted in the fall.....

I work with children special needs and one little boy with autism - has difficulty walking over  bobbly paving - due to his sensory issues, and another boy who may have dyspraxia also finds the bobbles difficult to walk over..... not related to PD but the bobbles cause them problems too!