Blind people’s safety is being put at risk by the “illegal” design of cycle lanes in Enfield, a charity has claimed.

The National Federation for the Blind (NFBUK) says the design of the Cycle Enfield scheme – which means pedestrians have to cross cycle lanes when getting on and off buses – poses a particular danger to blind people.

It accused the council of ignoring its obligations under UK equality law to give due consideration to the needs of blind and disabled people.

But the council denies the allegations and said it consulted a wide range of groups – including charities representing the blind – during the scheme’s design.

Sarah Gayton, NFBUK shared space co-ordinator, branded the scheme “a disaster for blind people”.

She said: “I was shocked at what I saw in Enfield. I had been told it was bad but had no idea quite how bad it would be.

“The shared space bus stop puts two very vulnerable groups in the same place at the same time, pedestrians and cyclists. Anybody can see the design is flawed and is inherently dangerous.

“The scheme is a disaster for blind people. It is difficult to see how this could have been approved as acceptable.

“It seems to me there has been no real consideration of the needs of blind or frail people.”

NFBUK’s concerns relate to two aspects of the scheme – the use of bus bypass and ‘Copenhagen-style’ shared-use boarder bus stops.

The bus bypass design means cycle tracks run behind bus shelters, effectively turning them into islands separated from the rest of the pavement.

Copenhagen-style bus boarders mean the cycle lanes run between bus shelters and the road.

The charity cited research from Denmark that showed collision rates were 1,725 per cent higher than expected after bus stop boarders were introduced.

Enfield Council says it did conduct an Equalities Impact Assessment during the design phase of the scheme and several groups provided feedback.

These included Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Enfield Council is fully committed to equality in everything we do. This involves having due regard to the needs of diverse groups when designing, evaluating and delivering services.

“Although new in Enfield, the bus-stop designs have been used in other parts of London, the UK and Europe. We believe that the current design for bus boarders in Enfield does make it clear that pedestrians have right of way.

“In addition, the installation of buffer strips, ramps, signage and distinctive paving all inform cyclists that they are entering an area used by pedestrians and must give priority to pedestrians.”

Transport for London is currently carrying out a review of bus stop boarders, and the council could make adjustments to the Cycle Enfield scheme depending on its findings.

The council said it is “keen to hear the views of organisations who represent people who are visually impaired or have particular accessibility requirements” both during design work and after cycle lanes have been built.