Cambridge: MP Calls For Pavement Improvements

4 February 2014, 06:07 | Updated: 4 February 2014, 06:12

MP Julian Huppert is to take the case of Cambridge's broken pavements to Parliament when he leads a debate in Westminster, this afternoon.

Julian will tell MPs how many problems are caused for people in wheelchairs, people using pushchairs, the elderly, the disabled, and those with visual impairments by the poor state of the pavements.

His debate comes just weeks after he launched a campaign with Paralympic rowing hopeful, Claire Connon to highlight the problem in Cambridge and called on residents to report broken pavements across the city.

Julian said: "Some of our pavements in Cambridge are so dangerous they are unusable for many people. We have broken and cracked paving slabs and uneven surfaces making them impassable for the  elderly, people in wheelchairs and those with children in pushchairs.

"When I went out in a wheelchair, I was struck by just how hard so many pavements were to use. We need work to fix them once and for all - too often I have heard of places where they are repeatedly fixed but break up again. There are particular problems when roadworks are not put back properly."

Claire, who is tipped for a place in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, took Julian and city and county councillors on a wheelchair tour of the city last year to give them first-hand experience of how difficult it is to navigate cracked and broken pavements in a wheelchair.

Claire told them how she had fallen out of her wheelchair twice in 10 days in Cambridge, the second time landing on her wrists which could have ended her rowing career before it had even started.

Julian is collecting signatures on a petition calling for more investment in pavements which will be presented to highways authority Cambridgeshire County Council in March.

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman, said: "We are committed to keeping all of the highway network, including footpaths and pavements, in the best condition possible within the resources available to us and we have devoted significant extra resources into highway maintenance.

"We are always happy to work with local communities and other organisations such as Cambridge City Council to identify areas of pavement which need attention and we would also urge members of the public to report any problems or concerns about any highway issue directly to us."