Power to the people after a Mrs Joanna Toner took on the local council in the courts over the height of pavement kerbs and won. Lowering the height of kerbs from 60mm to 30mm in Belfast city centre won’t make much of a difference for most pedestrians. But for the blind or visually impaired kerb height is key as it provides a marker for where a pavement ends and the road begins. Until recently Mrs Toner was able to walk around the city centre without difficulty thanks to her guide dog and white cane. That all changed however when new kerbs were lowered as part of a multi-million pound regeneration scheme in Lisburn which included new paving and kerbs in and around Bow Street and the Market Square areas of the County Antrim city. Mrs Toner explains why the new 30mm kerbs matter “If you can’t tell where the path ends and the road begins you’re just not safe from stepping out into traffic. The council has to take into consideration the needs of disabled people in every decision they take”. Backed by Guide Dogs NI and the Royal National Institute of Blind People in Northern Ireland Mrs Toner took her case to the High Court of Belfast where in a wide-ranging case her lawyers argued that academic research recommending kerbs ought to be at least 60mm in height was not properly considered. Mr Justice Maguire, who presided over the judicial review, agreed after he ruled that the council breached its legal duty to ensure equality for disabled people “There is clear evidence that the blind or partially sighted as a group of disabled people were likely to be affected by the way the scheme was designed and built,” he said. Brings a new meaning to the term kerb appeal.