The Western Link Road in Coventry has been developed to support the wider highway improvements programme as part of the £82-million Coventry Station Master Plan to boost public transport and infrastructure. These schemes have been integral to Coventry’s success in being granted the UK City of Culture 2021 and plans for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
So, what makes this project so special? For the very first time, innovative paving has been installed in Coventry city centre to help blind and visually impaired pedestrians safely cross the new road. Users can download the Live Beacon app to hear guidance from their device as they approach each crossing, which connects to the technology embedded within the Tac-Grid system. There are also plans to roll out this technology in other parts of the city, giving visually impaired road users key information and even greater access at more locations.
Dr Marie Kanayan, a Senior Project Manager seconded to Coventry City Council brings a wealth of experience to the project. Marie joined Waterman Aspen in 2014 but prior to that has worked on many high-profile projects as a Senior Engineer – including traffic management and cycling schemes in the South of England. Her most recent accomplishment is achieving a CEng qualification with the CIHT and becoming a Chartered Engineer. Marie has previously highlighted Leonardo da Vinci as her ‘engineering hero’, commenting “He was a visionary who inspired and influenced generations of artists, inventors, or engineers to make the impossible become real.”