Cardiff residents think the walking environment has room for improvement as it ranks eighth in a poll of 11 large UK cities.
For National Walking Month, Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, surveyed over 2,200 people living in 11 UK cities, about how walking friendly they felt their city is.
The survey asked Cardiff residents how safe they feel when walking in their city, how close shops and amenities are, convenience of public transport and proximity to parks and green spaces.
Over a third (34 per cent) think pavements are poorly maintained and over a fifth (22 per cent) don’t feel safe walking in the city due to motor traffic.
On the contrary, over half (57 per cent) find it easy to walk to local shops and services and half (50 per cent) find it easy to access local parks and green spaces.
Rachel Maycock, Manager, Living Streets Cymru says:
“Cardiff has taken a keen interest in the walking environment over the past few years but clearly there is more to do. We’ve worked with organisations and the council to encourage walking to help beat feelings of isolation, improve both mental and physical health and improve the general walking environment.
“We want to create world-leading Walking Cities around the UK and this survey shows there are great examples and good ideas for us to share. The Living Streets Blueprint sets out the 7 steps our leaders need to take to create a Walking City.”
As Living Streets’ National Walking Month launches this May, nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of Cardiff residents said they are in favour of measures to encourage walking in their city and over half (58 per cent) said they’d walk more if it were safer and easier.
Rachel Maycock, continues:
“Cardiff has some way to go to become a Walking City. We’d like to see pavements improved, crossing times increased and action taken on traffic speeds so people feel safe.
“Our city is growing and so too is congestion and air pollution. It’s encouraging people who live here in Cardiff see the importance of investing in walking to make the city a better place to travel, work and study in.”
Living Streets currently works in Cardiff in schools and workplaces to spread the benefits that walking brings. Living Streets recently launched the first ‘Park and Stride’ in Canton and recently completed a project in Llanrumney to examine the reasons why children and parents don’t walk to school as often as they would like.
This National Walking Month Living Streets are asking people to rate their everyday walks to build a picture of the walking environment around the UK. Rate your walk at www.livingstreets.org.uk/rateyourwalk
This National Walking Month is the launch of the charity’s Walking Cities campaign. Living Streets wants city leaders and transport professionals to design cities around people, not vehicles. Seven steps for change include; Make Walking a priority, Plan for walking, Create a walking network, Design streets as places to enjoy, Provide attractive alternatives to the car, Make walking safe and Change behaviour and celebrate streets.