A blind couple have described Glasgow city centre as a “death trap” for the visually impaired after revealing many of its crossings are missing vital safety equipment.

There are 890 junctions across the area and 150 of these do not have features such as rotating cones that tell people who can't see when it’s safe to cross.

A report to a full council meeting in December revealed that of the near-900 signal-controlled junctions across Glasgow, 403 sites did not have a tactile cone. It will cost the council an eye-watering £23m to bring them all up to scratch.

But council bosses now claim this number is being addressed - and insist they are committed to bringing all crossings up to an acceptable standard.

In an exclusive interview with the Glasgow Times, concerned Labour cllr Robert Mooney and his wife Linda say they believe someone will be killed unless the local authority acts.

Glasgow Times:

Councillor Mooney says he has been fighting City Chambers bosses for five years to have the issue addressed - and he claims the council's plan of works mean all junctions won't be fixed until 2055.

Cllr Mooney, 66, who lives in Cardonald, said: “It’s hugely important to make sure our streets are accessible for all, and right now that’s not the case. A blind or partially sighted person trying to navigate the streets of Glasgow is pretty much taking their life in their hands.

"It is ridiculous that so many of these aren't up to standard. I’ve raised this on several occasions and I’m fed-up hearing excuses. The council says it plans to fix 3% of these each year, meaning it would take 33 in total to complete the job.

“For a council that has a budget of over £1.5bn, it's a scandal they won't put people's safety at the top of the list of priorities. Trying to navigate the city centre when you are a blind person is now a completely traumatic experience. I’ve had Linda calling me in tears because she can’t cross a road, or she’s almost been hit by a car.

“Around 85% of people with sight loss are over 65 and I’m hearing from pensioners who are too scared to leave their homes because getting around Glasgow is too unsafe. As far as I’m concerned, this need to be sorted out right now."

Linda, 58, who works as a counsellor for Childline, is registered blind after being born with a hereditary condition that causes cataracts, glaucoma and cornea disease. She relies on her guide dog Josh or a cane to get around and says the stress of going into the city centre has become so overwhelming that she tries to avoid it whenever possible.

Glasgow Times:

She said: "Tactile cones at junctions are a lifeline for people like me. I’ve no other way of knowing when it’s safe to cross.

“People often make the mistake of thinking my guide dog knows when the green man is on, but I’m the one who gives the order to move.

“Glasgow just isn’t accessible; it is almost impossible to get about safely. I’ve had times where a van has just missed me by a couple of inches, or I’ve fallen because the tactile bumps on the pavement as you approach a junction are worn away.

“I don’t realise I’m reaching the kerb without them and just walk out onto a busy road.

"I’ve also had experiences where roadworks are taking place and I just can’t find a safe route around.

“I dread trying to cross at the Clydeside heading to Oswald Street, it's a death trap and I end up having to walk for 15 minutes to find a safer route. It’s mentally and physically draining.

“I’ve now braced my body to prepare for a bad fall or being hit by a car. That’s how people with vison loss like mine need to think, but we shouldn’t live with the constant fear of preparing for the worst. We have the same rights as anyone else to be able to get around my city."

Glasgow Times:

Audible beeping signals or rotating cones alert a person with sight loss when to cross a road. The cones are on the underside of pedestrian crossings signals and start spinning so people with sight loss can feel when it is safe to step out.

Robert, who was born with albinism that has affected his sight, has been campaigning tirelessly to have them installed right across the city.

He is now calling on Scottish Labour to put forward a motion to lobby the council for the works to be prioritised before a blind person is killed.

He added: “I have some vison but there's been times when I’ve been walking around Glasgow and I genuinely thought I’d end up being hit by a vehicle.

"I can fully appreciate how my wife feels. She’s the most competent, independent and proud woman you could ever meet.

“My sight is slightly better than hers and I often think when I’m struggling to get around how hard it must be for her. There have been plenty of times she’s just had to turn back and come home because her confidence is completely shot - and there are thousands of other people like her.

“The design of Sauchiehall Street is very poor. Linda just won’t go near it because there’s strips of tactile right in front of cycle lanes. Blind people stop thinking it’s a junction when they are standing on a cycle path. I’ve raised objections to this and issues on various other streets in Glasgow, but they have fallen on deaf ears.

“The council should do the decent thing and invest in keeping people safe before a tragedy occurs."

Glasgow Times:

Stuart Hay, director of charity Living Streets Scotland, is backing the councillor's call for urgent action

He told the Glasgow Times: “Over the years we’ve carried out several audits in Glasgow and I’m not surprised the streets are not up to standard. For far too long the council has prioritised vehicles ahead of people. This is a welcome opportunity to finally address this awful situation for blind and visually impaired pedestrians.

"We are happy to work with the council and other disability partners to advise on the best way forward. This currents situation simply cannot continue, and we would urge the council to take urgent action.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council added: “Our figures show that there are now 150 signals across the city without a tactile cone, not 403.

“We have an ongoing programme to upgrade the city’s traffic signals and we prioritise those junctions and crossings where there are currently no tactile cones.”