A mum has shared a powerful video of a “monumental occasion” for her visually impaired son thanks to a community road filters trial in Levenshulme.
Sent into and shared on social media by Streets For People – Levenshulme & Burnage, the short video appears to show a young boy crossing Osborne Road at the junction of Slade Lane in the Manchester suburb of Levenshulme – one of the roads making up part of the six-month ‘road filters’ trial – but what makes this footage that little more special is that he is actually visually impaired and up until this moment, has never been able to cross the road on his own.
And this incredible feat wouldn’t have been possible without the Levenshulme & Burnage Active Neighbourhood.
In a tweet accompanied by the video – which has now caught the attention of hundreds of people across Greater Manchester and beyond – the mum said: “The monumental occasion when my visually impaired 11 year old crossed a road on the way to school – without holding my hand,
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you filter heroes”.
How brilliant is this?
Whilst it is fair to say that the introduction of the scheme has gone on to cause some chaos and controversy among residents this week – with many appearing to be not so fond of it, mounting the pavements to get around the planters, expressing their confusion and criticisms on social media, and some even taking to vandalism – it is no doubt great to see these changes paying off in such a truly significant way for some of the most vulnerable members of the community.
Understandably, the video has been met with widespread praise online..
One Twitter user commented: “Designing safe streets with the most vulnerable at the top of the hierarchy. This is the way forward, communities become stronger when they are safer for people.”, with another adding: “That is just wonderful.”
“So simple but SO effective – brilliant.” said a third.
Unfamiliar with the Levenshulme & Burnage Active Neighbourhood scheme?
In an attempt by Manchester City Council to control the numbers of vehicles in the area, a total of 14 ‘modal filters’ – taking the form of wooden planters – were “strategically placed” at a number of locations across Levenshulme from Monday 4th January and are aimed at redirecting through traffic, whilst also allowing pedestrian, cycle and mobility vehicles through access.
Other similar Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTNs) schemes have been effective in reducing traffic on residential streets as they “limit traffic to local journeys, reduce pollution, noise and risk of a traffic accidents”, and in cases where emergency services need access, filters can either be moved or dropped if a bollard system is in place.
Speaking on the introduction of the traffic filters, Councillor Angeliki Stogia – Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport at Manchester City Council – said: “We’ve installed new traffic filters at locations across Levenshulme, on a six-month trial basis, where consultation told us that the majority of local people who responded were in favour of this going ahead.
“Where people have reservations about the trial, we urge them to continue to raise these with us in a positive way.
“It’s disappointing that a small number of planters were moved overnight and it’s really heartening to know that members of the community acted to clear up after the act of vandalism [but] we’re also aware that in some locations, vehicles have illegally driven on the pavement to go around the filters.
“This is unacceptable and dangerous.
“We’ll be looking at positioning additional planters where possible to deter this behaviour, while protecting essential access for people on bikes, pedestrians and people with disabilities [and] in line with feedback from residents, we’ll also be adding reflective signage, to improve the filters’ visibility at night.
“This investment into Levenshulme has the potential to benefit the health and well-being of the community in the wake of the pandemic, by making streets safer for people as they go about their journeys.
“The point of the current trial is to find out what difference the measures make on the ground and to carry on listening to local residents and businesses, so that we can work together and make changes where necessary to get it right, before any permanent decisions are made.”
You can find more information and have your say on the Levenshulme & Burnage Active Neighbourhood scheme anytime over the next six months via the Manchester City Council website here.
Rashford explains heartbreaking reason behind his celebration after wonder free-kick against Wales
On Tuesday night, Marcus Rashford lit up what had previously been an underwhelming final group game against Wales with what we can only describe as an absolute stunner of a free-kick.
Swapping out his usual knuckleball technique for a whipped but equally fast-paced finish into the top right corner, the 25-year-old wheeled away to celebrate with the travelling fans but not long after, he dropped to his news and pointed to the sky.
While not an entirely uncommon celebration in the world of football, it did seem like a somewhat muted reaction from the Man United forward, especially after such an incredible opening goal.
Speaking to media after the game, it turns out Rashford‘s celebration was dedicated to a close friend who passed away a couple of days prior.
As the Wythenshawe-born star went on to explain, choosing to point to the sky for the celebration was his way of paying tribute to a friend who sadly died following a long battle with cancer.
The joint-leading goalscorer this World Cup went on to say, “I’m pleased I managed to score for him, he’s always been a big supporter of mine. He’s just a great person to have come into my life”. Heartbreaking.
As confirmed by several outlets after the press conference, Rashford’s late friend was Garfield Hayward, a 35-year-old also from Manchester, who is said to have passed away last week.
Nicknamed ‘Garf’, his nephew wrote on social media: “My heart is hurting so much knowing I won’t see you again in this life… it won’t be the same without you being here… You didn’t have a bad bone in your body you would give anything and everything you could with even a single bit of hesitation.” So touching.
It was no wonder Rashford himself was so quick to go and celebrate with his loved ones after the fact.
Rashford made it three goals in as many games at Qatar 2022 following his wonderful free-kick and equally well-worked second goal, with fellow Manc Phil Foden scoring the second goal only seconds after the opener.
England now face Senegal in the Round of 16 and the way these two lads looked on the night, we expect Manchester to be putting on a show come the weekend.
TV doctor Ranj Singh calls out racist joke made at British Curry Awards ceremony
This week, the British Curry Awards held a glitzy black-tie ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the UK’s curry industry.
The prestigious ceremony, also informally known as the ‘Curry Oscars’, takes place every year – seeing a number of awards handed out to the best Asian restaurants across the country.
However, this year’s event was sullied when a white guest presenter made a racist joke on stage, asking: “Why has India never won the World Cup? Because every time they get a corner, they build a shop on it.”
Taking to Twitter after the event last night, TV Doctor and personality Ranj Singh blasted the presenter who made the joke, asking his 174,000 followers “I’m sorry but how is this OK?”
The TV Doctor then went on to release a statement, in which he first said he was “honoured and privileged to be invited as a guest” to the ceremony before continuing to outline why he was ” not the only person that felt uncomfortable tonight.”
Singh asked how the awards ceremony could truly be representing the Asian community fairly when “the host is white, the judging panel is entirely white, the performers on stage are over 90% white”, a racist joke is made on stage, and organisers were “auctioning off a piece by Winston Churchill”, whose relationship with Indian (and Bengali people specifically) is known to have been problematic.
The tweet, shared by Singh on the social media platform last night, has been liked over 1,000 times and retweeted more than 300 at the time of writing.
He then signed off for the evening, writing: “The number of people trying to justify an inappropriate and racist joke on here is saddening. But then again this is Twitter.”
Others have since taken to the platform to agree with Singh, with used David B tweeting: “I couldn’t summarise this better myself.
“The organisers did not consider that #RepresentationMatters – it felt uncomfortable to see so many white people to present, host and judge the awards when there are so many others that could have EASILY represented the community.”
Every year the awards ceremony welcomes a number of high-profile figures, including prominent personalities from the worlds of politics, sport, showbiz and entertainment alongside celebrity chefs and curry restaurant owners and their staff from across the country.
In previous years, attendees have included cricketer Azeem Rafiq, Love Island contestant Priya Gopaldas, and The Apprentice winner Sian Gabbidon.
Following the awards ceremony, organisers have said that an investigation is now under way.