Highway chiefs ignore residents' safety pleas

September 30, 2009 12:05 PM
Tim Bick

Tim Bick

Highway bosses have ignored residents' pleas to invest cash in providing drop kerbs on pavements in the city centre to help shoppers with pushchairs and mobility scooters.

Instead, they plan to spend the £10,000 in the south of the city, leaving no money in the pot to solve the city centre's problems.

Student, Gillian Barrow, who studies at Westcott House theological college in Jesus Lane and is an occasional wheelchair user, called for action three months ago to solve the problem.

On hearing the news she said: "I am miffed to say the least. It is a shame that officers set aside such a small amount of money in the first place. They should have made a proper amount available.

"The city centre has an extremely high footfall and this money could have been spent wisely here.

"I will continue to lobby to make the city and the county more accessible. But it is a shame that it has to come down to me to do this rather than the county making sure that this is a more accessible place to live and work."

Furious Cambridge City Councillor, Tim Bick, who represents Market ward, said "It is outrageous that the residents who raised the problem in the first place have lost out. They clearly identified a major problem in the city centre which, not only affects local people but visitors and tourists alike."

Market ward county councillor, Sarah Whitebread is calling on Cambridgeshire County Council to release publicly its analysis and methodology that led to the decision and reveal whether it has a programme to deal with the city centre and other areas.

"The meagre amount of money that the county council has set aside for this widespread problem is shameful," she said. "We need answers and reassurances that there is an action plan for the rest of the city."

Cambridge Liberal Democrats offered to put the county council in touch with worried residents and urged highway officials to carry out a survey of people using mobility scooters to identify the problem areas.

But the county council rejected their idea and said that the decision was made on census data which revealed that more elderly and young people lived in the south of the city.

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