Walking is a key form of transport, whether for an entire journey, or as part of a journey for example, forming the connection between a bus stop, train station or car park and the journey's destination. Walking also serves an important leisure and health function, both for local communities and over wider areas.  Many local authorities such as Mayo County Council are now actively promoting walking routes, and the Slí na Sláinte (Path to Health) programme launched in 1996 by the Irish Heart Foundation is increasingly popular both within Ireland and as a concept Internationally, for example, being promoted as the 'Highway to Health' by the NICHS in Northern Ireland.  Increasing walking as a mode of transport also plays a key role in increasing the sustainability of transport of transport as a whole, by reducing the negative environmental impact of carbon emissions and reducing the pressure on infrastructure.

It is important that the entire walking network, particularly within the urban context, has a high level of connectivity, serves key points of demand such as shops, commercial and public facilities, and is safe both in terms of road safety and crime reduction.  The walking network needs to cater for pedestrians of all ages and all levels of personal mobility.  Important features of the walking network include:

  • footways without missing links and substandard narrow sections;
  • safe controlled and uncontrolled crossing points located on desire lines;
  • flush dropped kerbs and tactile paving at crossing points;
  • adequate street lighting;
  • clear pedestrian route signing;
  • well positioned road signing which doesn't obstruct the footway;
  • sensitively located street furniture; and,
  • seating at regular intervals so that those with more limited mobility rest at regular intervals.

The recent publication of the Pedestrian Road Safety Action Plan published by the RSA has also highlighted a range of issues to improve pedestrian road safety such as incorporating pedestrian measures in junction improvement schemes, which will help to improve safety and access for pedestrians within the design process.

How TTRSA can help

TTRSA staff have extensive experience in assessing and designing safe pedestrian routes and facilities, and in developing pedestrian strategies and can provide advice, support or undertake a range of services including:

  • assessing existing pedestrian routes and facilities to improve access and ensure compliance with both design standards and accessibility best practice (as part of proposed schemes or an accessibility audit);
  • assessing the potential for creating new pedestrian routes or facilities whether as:
    • footways;
    • routes linking to public transport stops and stations;
    • routes for accessing sporting, cultural and tourist facilities;
    • routes within car parks or public spaces; and,
    • access to and within proposed or existing developments.
  • designing pedestrian access and facilities as part of urban regeneration, urban design and Home Zone schemes;
  • designing safe controlled and uncontrolled pedestrian facilities;
  • designing leisure walking routes and health walk routes; and,
  • developing pedestrian or movement strategies both in standalone form and as part of land-use plans.

Call us on +353(0)15143748, or e-mail us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to discuss your requirements or to request a quotation.