Walking in cities ‘unsafe for children’

More than two-thirds (67%) of drivers think walking in cities is unsafe for children because of traffic, a new survey suggests.

The research, commissioned by road safety charity Brake and insurer Direct Line, also indicated that nearly half (46%) of drivers think walking and cycling should be given the greatest priority on urban roads.

This is compared with just 15% of respondents who feel cars, vans and motorcycles should be the most important consideration.

Department for Transport figures show 28 child pedestrians were killed and a further 1,276 were seriously injured on Britain’s roads last year.

Brake is calling for a transformation of city streets to protect vulnerable road users.

It wants the default speed limit in urban areas to be set at 20mph, a significant improvement in cycling and walking infrastructure, and public transport made more accessible and affordable.

The charity’s director of campaigns Joshua Harris said: “Walking to and from school or a friend’s house should be a natural and safe part of growing up, so it’s deeply concerning that drivers think children walking around city streets are at risk because of traffic.

“It’s time to transform our urban areas into places for people, not for vehicles, and it’s great to see that drivers themselves support this move.

“More and safer routes for people walking and cycling alongside slower vehicle speeds are vital to help make our cities more safe and healthy places to be.”

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