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Kate Joester, Policy and Influencing Coordinator for Living Streets Scotland, tells us about a new report that aims to make walking more accessible for all.

If you’re reading a blog on Living Streets’ website, I might not need to persuade you that walking is great.

a group of people walk down a street

You know it makes your body and mind feel good, you enjoy the chance for a chat with your neighbours, you know you’re doing the right thing for the planet. That’s the thing about walking: because almost all of us do it almost every day, it’s hard to see it as something we need to know about or argue for.

But sometimes, we do need to make the case. We can see that pavement parking means that older and disabled people struggle to get to the bus stop safely. Other parents or caregivers at the school gates tell us that the sheer number of cars mean they don’t feel able to let their kids walk to school. Or perhaps our local park or our street trees are under threat, and we want to say how important it is that walking is safe, pleasant, and easy for everyone.

Living Streets Scotland has been working with the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) to set out that key information in our “Getting Scotland Walking” briefing. It lays out who’s walking and how much, where the inequalities lie, and what we need to do to make Scotland a great place for walking.  

We’ve also co-produced a nifty infographic that would be ideal for the school or office noticeboard, and a social-media-ready video clip that summarises the briefing in 50 seconds.

Getting Scotland Walking makes recommendations for change: better infrastructure, lowering traffic speeds, and involving the most excluded pedestrians in designing streets and public space will make walking the best option for more and more people. We need more and better research into walking and other active travel, and we need serious action to make government targets and aspirations a reality.

So, if you’ve been wanting to speak up for walking and for high quality walking routes and places, this might just be the information you need. 

About the author

Kate Joester

Partnerships and Impact Coordinator, Living Streets

[email protected]