One the main pressures on historic towns in managing vehicles. Much of the traffic can come from elsewhere, from visitors and others attracted to the town. But much is still caused by local traffic - with over half of vehicles in one study of three English towns on journeys of less than three miles.
Encouraging walking can reduce these car journeys and longer distance car journeys can be reduced through improving public transport. Improving conditions for walking can help with these longer journeys too as it is an important part of public transport journeys.
But, as with other transport modes, encouraging walking needs a more strategic approach and a walking strategy (as part of local transport plans) is needed. These should include:
- the policy context
- objectives of the strategy
- analysis of the problems and opportunities to encourage more walking
- long-term strategy to achieve those objectives
- an implementation programme
- targets and monitoring to assess success
Achieving more walking will inevitably need to address a broad range of issues but strategies need to focus on key levers for change. These can include maintenance, developing a network of safe attractive walking routes (including signage and wayfinding and safe crossings) and ways to promote walking. The involvement of key partners is essential, especially where responsibilities cross over in areas with two tier local authorities.
Richard Hebditch, Policy & Campaign Manager,