Pedestrian safety

Improving pedestrian safety will help to reduce accidents, and encourage more people to walk around Somerset.

Walking provides a big health benefit to people who would normally use their cars, or people who wouldn’t go out at all. Walking is a very accessible way to exercise, and can be part of everyday life, when going to work or shopping.

Available Schemes
Warning signs
Pedestrian warning signs
Pedestrian warning sign
Pedestrian warning signs warn drivers that pedestrians could be in the road.
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20 MPH when lights show
20 mph when lights show signs
20 MPH when lights show signs are commonly used outside schools, and the flashing lights are activated at school opening and closing times.
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Direction signs
Pedestrian & cyclist directions
Fingerpost directional sign
Pedestrian and cyclist direction signs help those on foot or on a bike find their way.
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Dropped kerb
Dropped kerb with tactile paving
Dropped kerbs are especially useful for wheelchair or mobility scooter users, who would otehrwise be unable to cross a road.
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Pedestrian Refuge Island
Newly constructed pedestrian refuge island
A refuge island is a raised section of pavement between two lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions. The Islands normally have yellow and white plastic bollards with a blue arrow to remind drivers to keep left.
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Zebra Crossing
Zebra crossing in residential area
Zebra crossings help pedestrians cross from one side of the road to the other. They have white strips painted onto the road in the crossing area, with flashing yellow lights at both sides of the road on black and white striped poles.
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Puffin Crossing
Puffin crossing in urban area
Puffin Crossings use traffic lights to stop cars, allowing pedestrians to cross. Pedestrians push a button at the side of the road, and wait for a signal to cross . this is from a standing red man to a walking green man.
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Pelican Crossing
Older style Pelican Crossing (no longer installed)
Pelican crossings are no longer installed in Bristol, so this page is for reference only
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Footways and paths
Improve Footway Environment
Improved Footway Environment
Improving the footway environment creates a better looking environment within the vicinity of the footway. This should encourage more people to use the footway, and encourage more people to walk.
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New Footway Provision
New Footway Provision
A new footway can be provided on a road which currently has no footway, improving safety and accessibility for pedestrians.
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Footway Widening
Recently widened footway
Footway widening provides more space for pedestrians. Pedestrians will be able to pass each other more easily, and walking becomes more pleasant.
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Pedestrian Guardrails
Pedestrian Guardrail
A refuge island is a raised section of pavement between two lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions. The Islands normally have yellow and white plastic bollards with a blue arrow to remind drivers to keep left.
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More info

Healthier people

People who walk regularly live considerably longer than people who do no physical activity.

This is because regular walking reduces the risk of contracting multiple diseases and conditions, such as coronary heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

Any exercise, including walking, improves mental wellbeing, and helps to maintain a healthy body weight.

Further Benefits

These benefits from walking can easily be enjoyed by the majority of people, and walking can easily be integrated into everyday life in towns, or as a recreational acitivty in the countryside. It's available to all ages, and at any time of the year.

There are benefits for the county of Somerset too, which will experience less air pollution and congestion if people switch from using their cars to walking when possible.

Advanced information

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The statement that people who walk regularly live considerably longer than people who do no physical activity is based on a study from Moore et al. (2012). The study combined data from six individual pieces of research, comprising of more than 650,000 participants, of which 82,000 died during the study period. Compared to no leisure time physical activity, low levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity resulted in life expectancies being higher by 1.8 years. Levels at or just above that recommended by guidelines, of a minimum of 150 minutes of at least moderate physical activity each week, were associated with even lower risks of premature death and higher life expectancies (3.4 years higher). Finally, levels at two and three or more times the minimum recommended level were associated with further, albeit diminishing, reductions in risk of premature death. Life expectancies were higher by 4.2 and 4.5 years for those participating in such levels of physical activity per week. A key means of gaining leisure time physical activity in this large participant study was through walking.

A study from Morris and Hardman (1997) identified the links between regular walking and reducing the risk of contracting multiple diseases, maintaining mental wellbeing, and reducing the risk of developing some forms of cancer. Based on a literature review of multiple sources of evidence from two leading authors in the field of activity and health, this paper is a good source of evidence.

A statement from the chief medical officer (department of health) identified that “the easiest and most acceptable forms of physical activity are those that can be incorporated into everyday life”. Walking was the first example of such an activity.


Moore, S., Patel, A., Matthews, C., Berrington de Gonzalez, A., Park, Y., Katki, H., Linet, M., Weiderpass, E., Visvanthan, K., Helzlsouer, K., Thun, M., Gapstur, S., Hartge, P., Lee, I. (2012) Leisure Time Physical Activity of Moderate to Vigorous Intensity and Mortality: A Large Pooled Cohort Analysis. PLOS Medicine, 9:11 e1001335

Morris, J. & Hardman, A. (1997) Walking to health Sports Medicine, 23 (5): 306-332

Department of Health (2004) At least five a week. Evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health. A report from the Chief Medical Officer. London: Dept. Health.