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Saturday 24th August 2019

Pedestrian crossings too quick for elderly

14th June 2012

Older people are not being left enough time to safely cross the road at pedestrian crossings.

walking stick1

A new report has found that the walking speed of the majority of people over the age of 65 is slower than the four feet per second speed set by the Department of Transport for crossings.

A study, published in the journal Age and Ageing, found that 76% of men and 85% of women over 65 have a walking speed slower than that and has called for pedestrian crossing times to be reviewed.

Report leader Dr Laura Asher from University College London, said: “Being unable to cross a road may deter them from walking, reducing their access to social contacts and interaction, local health services and shops that are all important in day to day life.

“Having insufficient time at a road crossing may not increase the risk of pedestrian fatalities but it will certainly deter this group from even trying to cross the road.”

The study used walking speed tests from around 3,000 older adults performed by the Health Survey (HSE) for England in 2005 and found that the average walking speed for older men was 0.9 metres (3 ft) per second and 0.8 metres second for older women.

Local transport minister Norman Baker said: “The department recommends that where a crossing may be used by a large number of older people or those with mobility issues, for example outside residential care homes, this should be taken into account in the timings set by local authorities.”


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