Walking is by far the most abundant form of exercise.
Like cycling, it remains intrinsically safe and entirely under our control. We can leave when we want, with whom we want. And it’s free.
Roads form barriers to walking, threaten safety, and deter by polluting the pedestrian environment with noise and toxic fumes. They occupy an enormous proportion of our public space, which might otherwise be devoted to decoration and amenity, such as the street café. Most of all, they are dirty and ugly.
Buses form an especially effective deterrent as they excel in both pollution and consumption of space, concentrating in the town centre, where they are least welcome.
A lifestyle built around the car denies all opportunity to walk, save from front door to driveway and car park to office. Exercise now calls for dedicated time to be set aside – difficult to find on top of the average two hours per day spent negotiating traffic on the highway.
While walking brings everything within a kilometre in easy reach, road traffic has made it by far the most dangerous mode of transport of all. You are about ten times more likely to die on foot than inside a car.