Thursday 3rd May 2012
Dog fouling, litter and broken pavements are just some of the issues deterring people from walking in their community.
Research on behalf of charity Living Streets shows that one third of British adults admitted that they would walk more if the streets were kept in better condition.
The survey conducted by YouGov revealed that 46% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 51% of 25 to 34-year-olds would walk more if the streets were safer and more attractive.
Feeling unsafe is also preventing 30% of 18 to 24-year-olds from keeping active, a recent ICM poll shows.
According to Living Streets the biggest deterrent for walkers of all ages was litter and dog fouling at 66%; followed by bad parking or broken or cracked pavements, both 60%.
A lack of street lighting stopped 27% of people from walking, while fly-tipping, graffiti and abandoned cars prevented 31%.
Living Streets' chief executive Tony Armstrong said: "It's shocking that the state of our streets, the one public service we all use everyday is a major barrier to walking, when it's one of the cheapest, greenest and easiest ways to get fit and healthy and one of the easiest ways of easing congestion.
"These results should be a wake-up call to both national and local Government that the physical state of our streets needs to be vastly improved to encourage people to get more active on foot."
In a bid to boost walking the charity, which stands up for pedestrians, is calling on people to take part in its Great British Walking Challenge in May.
Participants log all their walking miles during the month on the charity's website with photos and stories shared to encourage more people to get active.
For more information or to sign up visit http://www.livingstreets.org.uk/gbwc.