Nearly one in three (31%) older adults (aged 65+) are prevented from walking more or at all on their local streets because of cracked and uneven pavements, equating to over 3.5million people in the UK.
The YouGov survey from Living Streets released for National Walking Month, has found that cracked and uneven pavements (31%), obstructions on pavements including pavement parking (24%) and people driving too quickly (22%) were the top three things preventing people aged 65+ from walking more or at all. The new research found that half of older adults (48%) would walk more if their pavements were well-maintained, there were lower speed limits (28%) or more places to rest (25%).
Air pollution also presented a concern with one in five (20%) older adults being worried about the air quality on their local streets and over one in ten (11%) being prevented from walking more because of it; this was even higher in London where one in four (25%) older adults in the UK capital are put off walking more/at all because of air pollution.
Getting exercise (74%), simply leaving the house (67%) and fresh air (65%) were the top three things that older adults enjoyed about walking on their local streets. The charity is calling for councils to remember pavement potholes when repairing their roads to enable the most vulnerable to feel happier and safer using their streets. It’s part of Living Streets’ #nine90 campaign which aims to highlight the need for streets to be designed with nine-year olds and 90-year olds in mind, as then they become accessible to everyone.