Prioritise Pedestrians

Throughout Britain and beyond there are many examples of projects and initiatives that have made neighbourhoods better for walking.

The five case studies below briefly describe some of the improvements that have been achieved to ensure walking is the easy way to get around towns and cities, in the hope that it will provide inspiration for others.

Importantly, "prioritise pedestrians" is the third of our five Charter for Walking Neighbourhood asks. We hope that the case studies below will show tangible examples of how local authorities and community groups can work together to implement our Charter asks - and create neighbourhoods that truly put people walking first.

Case study 1: 20 mile-per-hour zones, Bristol

Prioritise pedestrians by introducing traffic calming measures.

A couple walking along a suburban footpath, with a 20 mile per hour sign

The introduction of 20mph zones across Bristol has reduced average speed on roads and has been estimated to save more than four lives a year and prevented 170 injuries, saving £15m a year, since 2014.

Find out more

Bristol 20mph zones on the BBC website.

Case study 2: High street pedestrianisation, Croydon

Prioritise pedestrians by trialling schemes that put pedestrians first.

A large group of people walking along a street

Croydon High Street is set to become a pedestrian zone after a successful trial lasting many months.During the trial, the street played host to a free programme of music, dance and theatre performances, as well as a play street and screenings of Wimbledon.

Find out more

Your Croydon news from the council

Case study 3: Shared spaces, New Road, Brighton

Prioritise pedestrians by designing successful shared spaces.

Street of brightly coloured buildings

Brighton’s New Road is England’s first shared space street where cars are welcome but pedestrians have priority.

According to the designers (Gehl), traffic levels have dropped by 93%, the number of pedestrians has increased by 62%, and there has been a 600% increase in lingering activities.

86% of people would like to see more areas like New Road in the city.

Find out more

Paving the way for city change

Case study 4: Replacing car parking spaces with trees, Amsterdam

Prioritise pedestrians by discouraging car travel and greening the environment.

Bikes parked beside a canal and road

The city of Amsterdam recently announced plans to remove around 1,500 car parking spaces in the city every year until 2025.

As room for cars is removed, it will be replaced by trees, bike parking, and wider sidewalks.

Find out more

A modest proposal to eliminate 11,000 urban parking spots  

Case study 5: Public London Charter

Prioritise pedestrians by protecting the accessibility and character of the public realm.

Two young women performing a yoga balancing pose

The draft new London Plan - the spatial development strategy for London - includes a commitment to create a charter regulating the management of privately owned public spaces.

The Charter will set out rights and responsibilities for both users and owners of public spaces, public or private and will be created to address concerns about the increase in private management of previously public spaces.

Find out more

Mayor of London policy D7 public realm

What do you think?

Do you have any examples of prioritising pedestrians? If so, we'd love to hear from you: get in touch at campaign@ramblers.org.uk

Wildflower meadow with a signpostMake Neighbourhoods Green

Discover what we mean by our first Charter ask "make neighbourhoods green" by exploring case studies of places & projects which have ensured everyone has access to high quality green spaces.

A woman walking along an urban path with a garden wall and shrubsCreate a Network of Green Walking Routes

Discover what we mean by our second Charter ask "create a network of green walking routes" by exploring case studies of places & projects which have built a network of green walking routes connecting people to the places they want to go.

A group of people outside Plaistow LibraryPromote Walking

Discover what we mean by our fourth Charter ask "promote walking" by exploring case studies of places & projects which encourage and support people to get walking.

Six people standing beside a canal, on the pathReclaim Places for Communities

Discover what we mean by our fifth Charter ask "reclaim places for communities" by exploring case studies of places & projects which have green routes and spaces designed and maintained with communities and open to all.