Living Streets has launched a new campaign to rid Britain’s pavements of clutter and make it easier for people walking and wheeling.
The charity says poorly placed bins, a-boards and excessive signage can make it hazardous for people to get around – particularly those with wheelchairs, buggies or guide dogs.
It adds the recent increase in e-bikes, e-scooters, and on-street dining has also seen more space taken away from pedestrians.
As part of its #CutTheClutter week of action (12-18 July 2021), the charity is asking people to show on an interactive map where the clutter is in their local area.
It is also helping people write to their local councils to tackle the issue.
Stephen Edwards, interim CEO of Living Streets said: “Our pavements should be wide enough for everyone to pass each other easily.
“When footways are blocked, it forces people into the carriageway and into traffic. Our research shows that people are more likely to get out and support their local economy when their streets are clutter-free.
“Towns and cities nationwide have been using government investment to trial schemes to create more space for people walking, including widening pavements and closing certain streets to traffic.
“We should not undo all this great work and investment by crowding pavements with excessive signage and poorly placed street furniture.”
Living Streets’ Cut the Clutter campaign is being supported by British Cycling, Cycling UK, Guide Dogs, RNIB and Transport for All.
Katie Pennick, campaigns lead at Transport for All, said: “For wheelchair users, visually impaired people, and many other disabled pedestrians – street clutter can turn pavements into treacherous, disorienting, and difficult routes.
“It’s vital that we remove the barriers on our pavements to enable more people to enjoy moving around their local communities with freedom, ease, and independence.”