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LONDON PAVES THE WAY FOR CITY WALKING

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Ken Livingstone's pledge to make London a pedestrian paradise is warmly welcomed by the Ramblers' Association at th...
Ken Livingstone's pledge to make London a pedestrian paradise is warmly welcomed by the Ramblers' Association at the launch of the

Walking Plan for London, the mayor's vision to make the capital one of the

world's most walking friendly cities by 2015.

The number of journeys made on foot in London is falling, seriously

affecting our physical health and environment. Transport for London (TfL)

has recognised that to get people walking again it needs to invest in a

strategy to make it an easier, safer and more pleasant thing to do. The RA

challenges the government, which has made empty promises about producing

such a strategy itself, to urgently follow suit.

Emily Richmond, a campaigner at the RA said: 'We're delighted with this

strategy. It promises better pavements, signs for walkers, it also supports

the revitalisation of public spaces and shows how walking is great for the

economy, not to mention health and the environment. It shows that we need

better facilities if we are to help more people walk as part of their

everyday lives.'

TfL's innovative plan argues that walking is an integral part of London

life, 31% of all trips in the capital are made solely on foot, and many

others incorporate walking. Yet conditions for walking are poor with little

thought given to pedestrian needs. It also argues that improving the

quality of public spaces has huge benefits for the appearance, wealth and

safety of the capital. TfL's first target is to stop the decline in the

number of journeys made on foot.

The report also highlights the impact that decreasing levels of exercise

have made on our lives. 60% of men and 70% of women are not achieving basic

levels of healthy physical activity; while 16% of cars on roads in the

morning rush hour are ferrying children to school, contributing to a drastic

reduction in the amount of exercise our children take.

This month the RA also launches a new Walking In London guide to the< p/="">delights of exploring London on foot. This brings together information on

the many great walking routes, parks and countryside areas that already

exist in London if you only know where to find them, and provides

information on public transport, walking books and maps. To obtain a copy

of this booklet (£1.50 plus P&P) contact the RA on 020 7339 8500.

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