Laura Sharman 01 May 2019

Potholes in pavements preventing more older people from walking

Cracked and uneven pavements are stopping nearly one in three (31%) older people from walking on their local streets, according to a new survey.

The research by charity Living Streets found over 3.5 million older people are prevented from walking more due to concern over potholes, obstructions on pavements and people driving too quickly.

Nearly half of older adults (48%) said they would walk more if pavements were well-maintained, with 28% saying lower speed limits would help get them out more.

The charity is calling for councils to spend at least 15% of their local transport infrastructure on walking and cycling and to remember pavement potholes when repairing their roads.

Joe Irvin, chief executive of Living Streets said: 'If we all viewed our streets through the lens of an older adult – or a child, a wheelchair user or someone living with sight loss – we would soon begin to understand how unfit for purpose a lot of them are.

'Having well-maintained and clear pavements would help older adults walk more. We want local authorities to be reassessing their streets and seeing how they could be made better for people aged nine and 90 – and therefore better for everyone.'

The charity is launching its #nine90 campaign, calling for streets to be designed with nine-year olds and 90-year olds in mind so they become accessible to everyone.

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