Monday, 3 February 2014

Cambridge MP Takes Case Of City's Broken Pavements To Parliament

MP Julian Huppert is to take the case of Cambridge’s broken pavements to Parliament when he leads a debate in Westminster tomorrow (Tuesday, February 4).

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.

The campaign has drawn numerous examples of dangerous and broken pavements as residents log onto the website to report their findings.

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.

He added: “We have had an excellent response to our campaign so far. It is absolutely clear that people are fed up with having to navigate cracked and broken pavements and they want something done about it.

“I hope the County Council will heed our calls. Everyone benefits from a culture where the needs of pedestrians and other pavement users are thought about. This will cost money in some cases, but will also save money if we fix things properly. ”

Julian’s debate Investment in Pavements will take place tomorrow (Tuesday, February 4) from 4.30pm to 5pm.