Wellington's vision-impaired community calls for protection against buses

Wellington's vision-impaired community is calling on authorities to make the place safer for pedestrians.

They say buses are a big problem - and one man has taken to the middle to the road to protest at the way they're being driven.

For Wesley Gyles-Bedford, crossing the street can be a gamble.

After six near-misses with buses, the visually-impaired Wellingtonian has taken action.

"I am tired of them blowing the red light, I am tired of them blocking pedestrian crossings and being outright abusive when I confront them over their behaviour," he told Newshub.

Earlier this month, a central street ground to a halt while Gyles-Bedford stood in front of a bus in protest.

Now he's calling for greater enforcement of road rules, and faster solutions from the Council.

"They're trying to be more responsive and more upfront about these issues, but obviously they're dealing with many years of neglect in that area," he said.

It's not just buses - others are protesting the lack of audible pedestrian crossing signals at some intersections.

The city has almost 600 crossings and last year dozens broke, putting visually-impaired pedestrians at risk. One crossing is now working as it should.

The council agrees more must be done, and improving accessibility is a focus for the incoming chief executive.

"We as the [organisation] responsible for the bus operations, we want to make sure this is a safe city for all residents and pedestrians," says Roger Blakeley, chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council Transport Committee.

And advocates say Wellington isn't the only city with accessibility issues.

"The same issue happens right around New Zealand - poor infrastructure and then, of course, it's driver education," says Blind + Low Vision NZ access and awareness adviser Chris Orr.

Orr is campaigning for a minimum standard of accessibility across the country.

In the meantime, Gyles-Bedford will be crossing with caution.