Fiona Mactaggart, MP for Slough joined Living Streets in parliament last week and made a pledge to work in Slough to organise group walks as part of a campaign to make walking safer and easier for older people.
The event followed the results of a YouGov poll commissioned by the charity which found that 62 per cent of people, aged 65 and over, believe that measures to improve streets for older people on foot are an appropriate priority for the next Government.
Fiona also met with pedestrian campaigners and Living Streets supporter Shelia Blaker, aged 80, who talked at the event about the obstacles and hazards she often encounters on her local streets which can deter her from walking.
‘Walking is great exercise which benefits our health and well-being at any age, but as we get older it’s important to be able to get out and about in our communities, see friends and neighbours and be able to access essential shops and services.
‘It’s easy to overlook the needs of more vulnerable pedestrians, today has been a great opportunity to hear about some of the things which can be done to make walking safer and easier.’
Chief Executive of Living Streets, Joe Irvin, said:
‘We know that things like pavement parking, insufficient time to cross at signalised crossings and high traffic speeds deter people from walking, but particularly older people. Sadly it means they can end up isolated.
‘Today we’re asking MPs to pledge their commitment to making walking safer and easier for older. Living Streets believes this can be done best via an Active Travel Bill and as parties draw up their manifestos in the run up to the General Election, we hope they’ll take note of the public health, environmental and economic benefits of making our towns and city centres walkable for everyone.’