Living Streets Scotland conference

Following my report on the Living Streets conference in London on 22 June here’s a look at their Scottish conference in Edinburgh on 6 November.

Well tweeted again by @livingstreets and others – 326 #LSScotConf tweets in total.

Shona Robison, a sports minister who doesn’t bang on about bikes:

  • “I used to walk to school and everybody else did”
  • walking benefits social cohesion, self esteem and quality of life; also clear economic benefits and health cost savings
  • physical inactivity bigger problem in Scotland than smoking, obesity and alcohol use – 2500 premature deaths each year –> these pple aren’t going to bike
  • a new Scottish national walking strategy to be published in the spring to set out action to get more people walking – Commonwealth Games catalyst for impact and legacy

John Dales (Urban Movement):

  • cities like Edinburgh should not have any roads at all – they should be streets; roads are for transit, streets are places where people live as well as move
  • walking is local high street’s most valuable mode of transport – see Living Streets’ pedestrian pound report

Lesley Hinds (cllr):

  • 35% of trips are walked in Edinburgh (and many more also include walking as a part of trip)
  • Edinburgh has doubled streets budget this year and are focused on pedestrian improvements
  • pedestrians need more power – looking at having a pedestrian champion for Edinburgh and a forum for pedestrians to give walkers a voice and influence

Bob Foley (Newbattle High, Dalkeith) – walking has become a mainstream part of PE as key method of inclusion – reclaims the streets around the school; kids see more than they would and helps community cohesion; teachers have to teach kids to walk on our streets because their parents don’t and main experience is being driven

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