In December Living Streets Cambridge piloted a survey on the state of the pavements using nextdoor.co.uk for the Petersfield ward. This was also posted, here, on this website. In January 2021 the group has produced a pilot stage report (PDF), a brief snapshot of responses taken from 98 returns.
A second report exploring the findings from Phase 1 and 2 dated 11/03/2021 has now been released. It can be read/downloaded here.
The most striking finding is that only a very tiny minority of respondents responded positively to the question: Are you generally happy with your experience as a pedestrian in Cambridge?
This clearly highlights pedestrians’ experience that many pavements are in a bad state of repair and frequently blocked for one reason or another.
Mill Road was reported for its narrow sections of pavement which made wheelchair and pushchair access dangerous and for the numbers of parked vehicles obstructing the pavement.
With the current focus on active travel, this state of neglect has come into sharper focus and suggests that continued targeting of limited funds on improving the city centre may not be the best way to address the needs of many of Cambridge’s residents. This point has been made to the planners in respect of Making Spaces for People which, whilst it has an admirable focus on reducing pollution, concentrates almost entirely on the city centre. Living Streets Cambridge will continue to seek to represent pedestrians on other City and County Council fora relevant to their needs.
The intention, now, is to extend the survey to wider areas of the city and if anyone can help with doing that, through residents associations, social media or posting on notice boards like nextdoor.co.uk for other wards, Living Streets Cambridge would be very grateful for the help. For the present this is limited to City Council wards ( and County divisions within the city boundaries) as far as possible, though at a later stage it might be extended to surrounding areas.
Please email the Living Streets Cambridge group by clicking this link if you feel able to assist in any way.
It’s early days for the revived Living Streets Cambridge group and help of all kinds is needed. I hope this small start enables us to gain some momentum and work to stimulate improvement.
In many residential areas of the city the environment for pedestrians remains challenging due to a combination of high traffic levels, narrow pavements and poor maintenance.
As investment in road maintenance has fallen away, footways have become increasingly dilapidated and dangerous. It will take a significant, concerted effort to get this put right.
The Living Streets Cambridge group is determined to provide a voice and a campaigning platform for pedestrians in the city, an imperative that has increased in importance since the pandemic struck and ‘active travel’ has become a greater focus of policy.Living Streets Cambridge
Living Streets is a UK Charity – Registered Charity Nº 1108448 (England & Wales) SC039808 (Scotland) – “for everyday walking”.