Our use of ‘walking’ and ‘pedestrian’

When we refer to ‘walking’ or ‘pedestrian’ we mean to include those who use mobility aids, such as wheelchairs or mobility scooters, or who may be pushing children in buggies or otherwise moving at walking pace on a pavement or path in the public realm.

Some mobility aid users are happy to use ‘walking’ or ‘going for a walk’ when moving around outdoors and do not wish to be separately categorised. However, others have pointed out that the term ‘walking’ may be taken to exclude those who use wheeled mobility aids.

‘Walking and wheeling’, ‘walking/wheeling’, ‘rolling and strolling’ are starting to be used as terms to explicitly include people who use wheeled mobility aids [1-4].

The safety of those using pavements and paths is largely dependent on the relative speeds of those moving along these routes. That is why we believe it is the speed of movement that is important, and faster-moving vehicles should be separated from those moving at walking speed.

Bristol Walking Alliance will continue to discuss these issues with members of equalities groups.

References

1. ‘How we’re making our language more inclusive‘ Sustrans, May 2022

2. ‘Walking for everyone: Making walking and wheeling more inclusive‘ Sustrans, Living Streets and Arup, March 2022

3. ‘Walking, Wheeling, and Cycling Definitions‘ Wheels for Wellbeing, October 2021

4. Roll and Stroll – Bristol Disability Equality Forum (bristoldef.org.uk)

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