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Walking to Save the Planet

Sometimes as a nation we just don’t join up the dots ….

Few disagree that increased walking and cycling makes a good contribution to combat climate change, helps the environment, and improves physical and mental health.

Urban infrastructure for this is slowly improving, but in rural areas it is still very much lacking.
Fortunately we have inherited a rights of way network across our countryside that is probably the envy of the world; we can legally ‘trespass’ on land owned by others.

However a huge part of the old walking network has been surrendered to the motor vehicle, with little consideration or planning for pedestrians or cyclists.

Even on our rights of way that are able to directly link communities, we rarely indicate where they are heading. It’s cheaper to install anonymous ‘footpath’ signs rather than the specific directions we find on tarmac highways.
This fact, when raised on Twitter recently, increased our usual group audience of around 100 to virtually 17000.

Unfortunately the majority of communities, at one time linked by footpaths, are no longer directly connected by our rights of way network.
Travel between them, despite the efforts of organisations such as the Ramblers and Slow Ways, is often via narrow roads without footways and adequate verges, with significant risk of being injured by a vehicle.

It can’t be done everywhere, but provision needs to be made wherever possible, for safe walking and cycling.
Until that happens car journeys between many rural communities will remain the norm.

Highway verges

It’s not rocket science, but a case of our priorities ….