chapter
KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Pages 13

On an average day about three quarters of the population of a typical British town walk somewhere in the road environment, even if only to their car and from it to a shop or workplace. Over the period 1985/86 to 1992/94 there was an increase in the distance travelled in cars of 32 per cent for drivers and 28 per cent for passengers. Some of this increase can be accounted for by 35 per cent of women owning cars now compared with only 13 per cent in 1975/76. Over this same period there has been a decline of 18 per cent in the amount of walking, with the largest reduction being in the age group 5-15 years (Department of Transport 1995b). This is of particular concern in the case of children because there is evidence that their independent mobility is being reduced by parents as a response to fears for their children’s safety on the roads (Hillman, Adams and Whitelegg 1990). Many older people also feel threatened by traffic because they find it more difficult with increasing age to see and hear the approaching vehicles. As their level of agility decreases with age they find it difficult to walk smartly across the road in order to avoid oncoming vehicles.