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Concerns Totnes rainbow crossing could confuse dementia sufferers

Totnes had a temporary rainbow crossing last year during its Pride event supporting LGBT rights. Credit: Proud2Be

A Devon town's plans for a rainbow zebra crossing supporting gay rights could have an uncertain future after fears it could cause hallucinations.

Medical experts have expressed concern that the brightly coloured crossing could have side-effects for people with Alzheimer's.

The Proud2Be group spearheading the campaign say they were told to seek expert advice, and received the following statement from a medical professor.

People with dementia might not recognize it as a safe crossing place, but that is no worse than the current position. DSDC always advises changing as little as possible in the environment of people with dementia, but we mean in their house and immediate environment, because there is evidence that this helps them.

We would never ask councils to preserve their town in historic form for the sake of the minority with dementia who might find change challenging.

– Professor June Andrews, Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), University of Stirling
Proud2Be say they do not want to affect anyone's quality of life. Credit: Proud2Be

We are thankful to Professor June Andrews for her expert opinion on the matter, as we would not want the crossing to impinge on anybody's quality of life or experience of Totnes. We are also working closely with Totnes Town Council and other community groups; to ensure that Europe's first permanent rainbow crossing can be enjoyed by the whole community.

– Mat Price, Proud2Be co-founder
Cities across Europe have had temporary rainbow crossings. Credit: Proud2Be

The group trialled a temporary crossing on Totnes High Street last year, as part of Totnes' second-ever Pride celebrations.

Cities such as London, Brighton and Sydney have all had temporary multi-coloured crossings, but if the Totnes plans go ahead the town would be the first in Europe to have a permanent one, joining Vancouver in Canada.

The proposed location of the crossing is on either side of the town's Wills Memorial. Local councillor Carol Wellwood said she believed this location was ideal.

If we had a rainbow crossing on either side of the memorial it would help safety, encourage diversity and give people a real sense of fun.

– Carol Wellwood, Totnes Town Councillor

Totnes campaigners celebrate one-way traffic victory

Campaigners claimed the one-way system was killing trade Credit: ITV News Westcountry

Campaigners in Totnes are celebrating victory in their battle over a controversial one way scheme. The judge at the High Court in Exeter ordered the system to be reversed after being told it was killing trade in the town.

Devon County Council will have to switch the traffic back to its original direction, unless the Court of Appeal approves a stay of judgment in the next few days.


Council to appeal Totnes 'one way' system decision

Devon County Council is to appeal against a High Court decision to make it reverse a one way system in Totnes in South Devon. Opponents of the scheme, which has been in place for two years, say it's damaged businesses and put off visitors.

Hundreds of protesters marched against the new Totnes traffic scheme Credit: Credit: ITV News

But now the Council is to challenge the decision after what it calls 'a wave of public support' for the changes. The Sustainable Totnes Action Group has criticised the move, condemning it as a waste of tax payers' money.


High Court date for controversial traffic scheme

Hundreds of protesters marched against the new Totnes traffic scheme Credit: ITV News

Protesters are taking their battle against a one-way traffic scheme to the High Court. Hundreds of people in have been campaigning against the decision to reverse the traffic flow in Totnes.

The case will be heard on 12 February.

Travel: problems on trains between Plymouth and Totnes

Train services between Plymouth and Totnes are being disrupted while engineers are checking out a problem on the line.

First Great Western are organising replacement buses, but at the moment passengers are having to make their own way between the two stations.

Trains from Totnes to Plymouth are not affected.

It's hoped that the situation will be resolved by midday.

Totnes pound heads into cyber space

Totnes pounds being printed - could the paper version be taken over? Credit: ITV Westcountry

A new app will allow people to pay for goods and services in Totnes pounds using their smart phones.

The town has had its own currency for several years, encouraging people to trade locally.

The phone app has been developed by the team running the more recent Bristol pound, which has been taken up by 500 traders.

Campaigners want to re-open Totnes High Street to traffic

Hundreds of protestors marched through Totnes Credit: ITV News

Hundreds of protestors marched today, calling on Devon County Council to re-open the High Street to traffic through the centre of Totnes.

Walking up the High Street where they can no longer drive, opponents to the road rearrangements in Totnes say it's an economic disaster for the town.

Actor Peter Richardson says: "All the people who say I like Totnes with no cars and stuff are just signing up to a town that is going to be empty in the winter and shops will die because they can't sustain and they can't make it work."

Around two to three hundred locals marched up the street before holding a rally demanding a return to how it was. One of the campaigners said: "Devon County Council are destroying my town. We want shared space, Devon County Council please listen."

But the local authority says far from harming business, trade has improved, along with safety for shoppers. And those who prefer the new system weren't afraid to confront today's protestors.

Alan Fuller is pleased that commuters can't race up the High Street.

"The people who drive through in the morning, the rat runners from Torbay through to Plymouth direction, make this an unbearable street. Since the road has been reorganised I think it's a much more pleasant place to shop."

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