Improvements to physical infrastructure
- dedicated routes
48. The proposal which perhaps received most support,
recurring in many memoranda, was the creation of pedestrian networks,
"dedicated networks around and across towns and cities for
walking ... which link residential areas with green spaces, schools,
shopping districts, business parks, sports and leisure facilities".
Direct routes are important to pedestrians because detours can
make a big difference to short journeys. The Civic Trust emphasised
that "each route along which people want to walk must be
assessed to determine if it is convenient, safe and comfortable".
Encouraging Walking refers to the 5 'C's of quality networks
being connected, convenient, comfortable, convivial and conspicuous.
49. Several witnesses argued that a start should
be made by improving routes used for specific journeys, for instance
to schools and public transport facilities. According to Transport
2000, councils and public transport operators should improve the
walking catchment area around all stations and bus stops in order
to reduce the deterrent effect of the walk to the bus stop or
The steps Government and others are taking to improve these routes
are considered below.
50. Two crucial aspects of dedicated pedestrian routes
are better crossings of main roads and segregation from fast moving
traffic. It was argued that "greater separation between moving
cars and pedestrians is essential".
The Ramblers Association commented:
"Crossing roads is often
an unavoidable part of any journey on foot. As such, it is essential
that crossing points are safe and convenient and that they are
created at the locations where they are needed".
National TravelWise Association pointed out that
this will mean cars stopping more often to give way to pedestrians.
51. An important feature of these walking networks
should be the linking of town and countryside. The Countryside
Agency stressed the importance of ensuring that residential areas
and the city centre are linked with green spaces and the surrounding
The Ramblers Association informed us that:
"To reduce reliance
on the private car and to encourage walking for health reasons
it is important that people can walk from towns and cities and
out into the countryside using safe and convenient pavements,
footpaths and other ways from which vehicular traffic is excluded.
For example, people will be deterred from walking into the countryside
from say market towns if at the town fringes the pavement ends
and they are forced to share the road with motor traffic".