Cambridge pavement parking issue leaves blind woman worried to leave the house

Khadija Raza is backing the campaign to ban pavement parking in Cambridge. Credit: ITV News Anglia

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A blind woman says she sometimes avoids going out and has to walk on busy roads because of cars parked on the pavement.

Khadija Raza from Cambridge is severely sight impaired and uses a cane to get around the city, but says the cluttered pavements can leave her avoiding it altogether.

The Outreach Worker from Cam Sight said: "I find myself having to walk on the road to get around things sometimes because there's just not enough space and I shouldn't be having to do that.

"I have less information than most people when just walking out and about, because when you can't see it is a bit worrying and the fact that I have to negotiate extra things than other people I find that to be quite unfair."

She is now backing a campaign being led by the charities Living Streets, Cam Sight and the Royal National Institute of Blind People to ban pavement parking in Cambridge.

David Stoughton, Chair of Living Streets Cambridge, said: "We want to be able to clear the pavements for people. We ran a survey last year across the city with well over 300 responses - 70% of those people said that pavement parking was one of their major problems and 70% is quite significant."

Peterborough City Council has activated pavement and verge parking restrictions in certain parts of the city, and has issued almost 400 fines in the past four years.

Cambridgeshire County Council has said it is hoping to get more enforcement powers this summer as a result of a national review into pavement parking.

Cllr Neil Shailer, from Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "We have limited powers. We send the enforcement team where there are cars parking on double yellow lines, for instance, but most of it is still with the police and they have very, very limited abilities to do anything at the moment, because they don't have the resource.

"So, a lot of the stuff that we complain about falls between the cracks. In July, we hope we will get more powers as a local authority and then we may be able to attack it with more vigour."

Ms Raza now wants to encourage people to be more considerate and to see the streets differently.