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Review into obstacles to city centre accessibility   
15 September 2014 | Posted by Charlotte Burton
 
Beacon Planning has been commissioned by Cambridge City Council to undertake a review into the ways of easing the problems faced by wheelchair users, older people and other pedestrians in the historic centre of Cambridge.

The historic street plan and layout of the city centre can cause accessibility difficulties for some people, and the review will look at how that could be improved. The review will cover key parts of the city described in the council's planning blueprint the Local Plan, as the historic core and the Grafton Area. Car access, parking and cycling are not included in the scope of the work.

As well as ease of movement around the city centre, the review will look at the use of signage and way-marking, street advertising and the licensing of restaurant and cafe street furniture.

Discussions will be held with Cam Sight, the county council, Cambridge BID, the universities and others to look at how they can contribute to improving accessibility.

Cllr Carina O'Reilly, Executive Councillor for City Centre and Public Places, said: "For many of us the centre of Cambridge is a beautiful and unique place but for some people it can present real problems. Anyone who uses a wheelchair can find our narrow streets challenging to get around and we know that some older people find it tricky too. This review won't change our street plan but it will provide us with information about things we can do now to improve accessibility. It will also give us information that can be used for future planning work."

The review will start with surveys of key streets in the next few weeks, followed by interviews with stakeholders and interested groups. The review will be presented in a report to councillors in early 2015.