Since the removal of all pavements and pathways to make room for more lanes for motorised vehicles, many people are too frightened now to walk.
The government and some walkers say that walking is just as safe as it ever was. Sharing the same space as fast moving traffic need not be dangerous as long as we follow The Highway Code and take a Walkability course.
We are advised to sign up to a Walkability course to give us confidence to vehicular walk.
Walkability teaches us to how and when to "take the lane", how to join and flow with the traffic to navigate a roundabout and junction safely, how to walk passed the door zone of a parked car, how to give good indication and make eye contact with drivers.
Although not law, we will be required to wear a walking helmet and a high visibility jacket for the Walkability training.
It's said that once anyone from 8 to 80 has learned Walkability and how to vehicular walk it is perfectly safe to walk on our roads with the traffic of today. We can rest assure that our 8 year old child will be perfectly fine walking to school on their own amongst the traffic, assuming their school does allow walking and has the facilities needed. We could even encourage Granny or Granddad to walk to pick the kids up from school.
Although motorists do not read the section on walking in The Highway Code and therefore have no idea how to safely overtake a walker or understand why a walker will on occasions be walking in the middle of the lane or indeed understand why as a walker we are not walking as tight to the left as possible, it is still worth while we, as walkers, know rules of the road.
Walking helmets are not mandatory, and although they have only been proved to protect the head if we trip and fall and hit our head on the crown, and certainly wont save us from serious harm or death if we are run over, there are both pros and cons of wearing one.
The downside of wearing a walking helmet is that they are cumbersome, hot, mess up the hair, and basically pretty useless if one is simply a steady walker.
The upside is, if we happen to be run over when not wearing a walking helmet, we will automatically be considered the guilty party. So wearing a helmet is definitely a plus on that occasion. It could mean the difference between the driver of the vehicle being taken to court or being sent away and told not to do it again.
As walkers I am sure the majority of us would like to see the return of the pavements and pathways. To expect vulnerable flesh and blood to share the same space with vehicles traveling at anything up to 70 mph is absolute madness. It's totally insane.
Instead of pavements and pathways totally separating us from cars, buses, and lorries we have simply been offered Walkability courses to learn how to vehicular walk. In other words, to pretend we are cars.
How many walkers are going to die on our roads before we once again have segregation.