Walking for everyone guide

Making walking and wheeling more inclusive is the aim of the Walking for Everyone Guide. At 122 pages the online guide sets an ambitious and inclusive agenda for the future of walking across diverse communities. Community-led engagement is important to ensure changes meet the needs of residents. This is how you get local place-based needs met – there is no one-size-fits all.

Walking is often ignored in transport policy. Even when it is, the budget allocation takes it from the top of the hierarchy to the bottom. Consequently, basic elements like footpaths are not delivered. Despite almost every journey beginning and ending with walking and wheeling, streets are not inclusive.

Front cover of walking for everyone guide with a collage of a diversity of people.

Valuing and promoting lived experience enables transport planners to understand different experiences especially where they conflict. The Guide reminds us that solutions will sometimes require compromise, but marginalised groups should come first. After all, their needs will improve experiences for other walkers.

The Guide presents a framework of recommendations targeted national and local governments. There are three key themes:

  1. Improving governance, planning and decision making
  2. Creating better places for everyone to walk and wheel
  3. Supporting everyone to walk and wheel
A woman wearing bright blue clothing is holding a white cane while walking along a residential street.

Each of the themes is dealt with in detail. In Theme 2, Creating better places, they tackle road safety, air quality and physical severance by roads. In the UK, cars are allowed to partially park on the footpath in narrow streets, but Living Streets recommend this practice end. This is because it often limits the movement of people using assistive mobility devices.

Close the mobility gap

A key point in Theme 3 is to close the mobility gap by making walking and wheeling inclusive. This includes ensuring everyone who needs a mobility device can get one. These devices include assistance dogs, personal assistants and support workers as well as equipment.

The Guide is well presented with attractive photographs depicting a diverse population of pedestrians. It includes a socio-economic context and next steps which is a call to action for government, business and community sectors to work together. There is a useful list of reference documents at the end.

The title of the guide is Walking for everyone: Making walking wheeling more inclusive and was developed by Living Streets. Images are from the Guide.

Tools for Inclusion

Living Streets Scotland also has a useful Tools for Inclusion publication. This one is a guide on devising an Equality Impact Assessment at local government level. The report looks at the use of Equality Impact Assessment in delivering the obligations of the public sector to address the inclusion of people with disability. The findings of their study show there is still a long way to go. The report has several useful recommendations.

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