Living Streets, the UK walking charity, is calling on Harrow to take action and eliminate obstructions that hinder pedestrians’ ability to walk and wheel easily on local pavements.
As part of the annual Cut the Clutter campaign, members of the public are encouraged to report any obstacles they encounter on their neighbourhood streets from 10 to 16 July 2023.
The charity is urging local councils, including Harrow, to implement a series of measures to reduce clutter on Britain’s pavements. One of the primary proposals is a complete ban on A-board advertising on the pavement. Living Streets also advocates for the removal of unused phone boxes and the trimming of hedges that encroach on pavements. Additionally, the organization emphasizes the need for councils to ensure that charging points and cycle storage for electric vehicles, e-scooters, and e-bikes are situated on the carriageway rather than obstructing the pavements.
They suggest that a minimum clearance of 1.5 meters should be maintained for pedestrians.
This marks the third year of the Cut the Clutter campaign initiated by Living Streets. Past surveys conducted by the charity revealed that the most common obstacles reported by Brits were overgrown trees, hedges, intrusive signposts, and lamp posts.
According to research conducted by Living Streets, nearly 18% of parents with children of primary school age would prefer walking their children to school instead of driving if the walking environment was improved.
Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive of Living Streets, expressed his concerns, stating, “We shouldn’t have to navigate through a barrage of street clutter to enjoy the health and happiness benefits of an everyday walk. While some may view street clutter as unsightly, for individuals using wheelchairs, families with strollers, and people with guide dogs, these obstructions can force them off the safety of the pavement and into the road.”
Cut the Clutter Week serves as a means to identify and report issues to local councils, allowing them to address the problems effectively. By doing so, Living Streets aims to create a better walking environment for all individuals in Harrow.