Dropped kerbs are more of a problem


The County has a well defined set of rules relating to dropped kerbs so that they do not make life more difficult for those with mobility problems, wheelchair and motorised scooter users and people with push chairs. The trouble is that they’re more often than not observed in the breach and this has been compounded by inadequate enforcement in recent years.

There are 3 simple rules:

  • the gradient should be less than 1 in 20 with an absolute maximum of 1 in 12;
  • dropped kerbs should be flush with the road with an allowable tolerance of 6mm; and
  • tactile paving must be provided where pedestrians can be expected to cross.

To some extent these rules are OTT and it’s difficult to imagine applying them to a lot of ‘historical’ situations but going forward we should be designing foot-ways which provide users with a continuous route and not one which is just good in parts.

The pavements in Cottenham are well known to be in serious need of improvement and increasingly accidents are reported.

County Councillor David Jenkins said: ‘we are seeing the effects of years of underfunding of our village infrastructure. We have got into the habit of make do and mend and that’s not giving us the roads and footpaths which we need. We need to be much more diligent in ensuring that our footpaths conform with minimum standards so that residents can use them easily and safely. If they can’t all our efforts to get people out of their cars are in vain’.

The picture above shows a dropped kerb on Broad Lane with a gradient of less than 1 in 8. Fixing it now would involve the landowner in significant expense. It should have been built to specification at the beginning.

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