Pathways > The Pathways book > Pedestrian zones
Walking in our towns and cities is highly managed, at a simple level through pavements separating pedestrians from traffic, more complexly through the creation of pedestrian zones, bridges and walkways. Through the 20th century pedestrians were generally secondary to the needs of the car, but increasingly that is changing.
Towards the end of the century attempts were made to separate people from cars completely. In the 'new towns' built in the 70s and 80s it is often possible to cross from one side to the other without having to venture onto a road at all. London's Pedway scheme, which was only partially realised, raised pedestrians onto another level altogether, on walkways at first floor height.
More recently there have been moves to bring traffic and pedestrians together, deliberately. By giving the pedestrian precedence car drivers are forced to slow right down and make way. In other places, however, like the Millennium Bridges in London and Gateshead, complete separation still works. People love these structures, harking back as they do to centuries of fascination with crossing water.
The Pedway walk, featured in the book, is free to download once you have joined as a member of Walkingworld.
There is a special thread in the Pathways forum for pedestrian zones, should you wish to join in the discussion.
Below is a list of other walks in city centres:
You'll never doubt that over 95% of Britain's trade comes and goes by sea if you've ever seen the crowded mass of container ships on just one day in just one port. This walk embraces the harbour area, city centre and beach or esplanade of Aberdeen.... More info
A mostly waterside walk, following the River Avon from the Clifton Suspension Bridge through the spectacular Avon Gorge and continuing to Pill. The bridge and gorge are an iconic symbol of Bristol and are just two miles from the city centre, but this... More info
A longer version of Walk 6691, linking Cardiff City Centre with the regenerated dockland area of Cardiff Bay. The original route is extended by a stroll across the iconic Cardiff Bay Barrage to Penarth, where a new footbridge across the Ely makes... More info
This walk around Chester starts near the station and takes in the canal and the river, as well as the city centre and the significant Roman remains.... More info
This is a short walk from Derby City Centre, visiting several historical sites and places of interest, starting from the City Centre and following road and footpath through the Chester Green area with its Roman history, into the Darley Fields area... More info
This walk is not far from Edinburgh's city centre, yet it is sufficiently wild to be a 'country walk'! The first section of the walk is down the pretty Hermitage of Braid. The route then climbs up to Liberton, encircles a golf course and heads up to... More info
A gentle walk from Edinburgh City Centre, ideal to fill a free afternoon (a short cut is available, reducing distance to five kilometres or three miles). Head out through the elegant and peaceful New Town to the Gallery of Modern Art, then return by... More info
This short walk takes in some of the interesting, controversial or acclaimed architecture to the west of the city centre. It abuts and complements Walk 3523, 'An Architectural Tour of Central Glasgow' and also abuts Walk 3556, which tours Kelvingrove... More info
A waterside walk that starts as a quiet country walk before heading into Gloucester City centre and the historic docks. The docks were very busy at one time, but are now mostly used by pleasure craft and the occasional yacht or tall ship. A number of... More info
A trip around Manchester City Centre and some inner-city suburbs, designed to allow you to view the rich and varied architecture in the city. It is a very easy route as it is (almost entirely) flat and paved, in the heart of the shopping area and... More info
A long and pleasant walk from Nottingham's busy city centre along the canal towpath, through a city park and the university campus to the deer-park of Wollaton Hall. Walk back to the centre via the prestigious residential area known as The Park.... More info
Starting in the heart of Oxford, this route is a complete circuit of Port Meadow. It follows the Thames Path National Trail for the first half of its length, through Osney Lock and up to Godstow, with its lock, ruined abbey and the famous Trout Inn.... More info
This route starts in Oxford's ancient city centre, Carfax. It passes through or by many of the city's parks, including University Parks, Headington Hill Park, South Park, Magdalen Deer Park and Christchurch Meadow. The route also passes by the... More info
This walk follows the River Thames, with its lovely surrounds, to visit the city of Oxford. Usually very difficult to drive into, this access, on foot, is an ideal way of seeing the many colleges and historic sites of Oxford. The return journey from... More info
Tyne and Wear
The walk follows the Ouse Burn from South Gosforth to its entry in the River Tyne. The path takes us through six parks; each follows on from the other to form an un-interrupted route. The walk finishes in the city centre. ... More info
An urban walk along the canal from Wednesbury passing through the Black Country finally reaching Birmingham.... More info
It was no accident that the first Harvey Nichols to open outside London was in Leeds. This city has become 'the place' to live, work and visit in the north of England.... More info
Take a walk through the Forgotten Valley which is situated to the South of Sheffield only about four miles from the city centre. This is a walk through history. Walk where once there were water mills, collieries and railways. This is a new reserve,... More info