Living Streets (UK)

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Living Streets (formerly The Pedestrians Association and the Pedestrians Association for Road Safety) is an organisation which advocates for the rights and interests of pedestrians and aims to 'create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets, where people want to walk'. The registered charity works with local groups, professional organisation and has lobbied for political change since its formation in 1929.[1]


A young journalist, Tom Foley, became aware of the issue of road safety and contacted Viscount Cecil of Chelwood who was increasingly concerned about road safety about his emerging idea. A first meeting was held in 1929 at which it was announced The Association was formed at a meeting held in the Essex Hall, London, on August 13, 1929. The meeting was convened jointly by Messrs J.J. Bailey and T.C. Foley, and was one by private invitation to people who had written to Viscount Cecil about pedestrians grievances or who had written to T.C. Foley following a letter he had sent to the press .

The Pedestrians Association explained is purpose as follows: in view of the serious danger of motor traffic today an Association be formed for the defence of public rights, especially of pedestrians.[attribution needed]

Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, who was president from 1929 until 1944, was a high profile peer had recently established the League of Nations and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1937.[2]

The following year the Road Traffic Act 1930 removed the existing 20 mph speed limit for motor cars at a time when UK road casualties were running at a rate of 7,000 per year (which is nearly three times the current rate).[2]

They also helped write the very first Highway Code which was first published in full in 1934.[2]

During the 1930s its campaigns helped to persuade the British Government to introduce the driving test, to reinstate a speed limit for motorcars and pedestrian crossings. A speed limit of 30 mph in urban areas and for driving tests was within the Road Traffic Act 1934.[2]

As a result of lobbying during WW2 The Association lobbied the government to amend its regulations to allow pedestrians to carry a small hand torch and to painted the sides of the road white to increase pedestrian safety.

In 1950, following his retirement, Hore-Belisha was made vice-president.[2] and in 1952 the organisation changed its name to the Pedestrians Association for Road Safety.[2]

The organisation changed its name to Living Streets in 2001.[2]


The charity has around 100 local branches and affiliated groups across the UK, and also undertakes consultancy work for local authorities.

Its strategic objectives are:

  • Walking the Natural Choice
  • Putting People First
  • Quality Spaces for All

Walk to school campaign

The charity is best known for the national Walk to School campaign. It also runs the Walking Works Campaign, to encourage people to walk some or all of their way to work.

They run a campaign to combat pavement parking, aimed at the practice of vehicles parking on pavements and verges (a form of overspill parking).[3]


  1. "Living Streets". Living Streets. Retrieved 2010-02-37. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "The history of the Pedestrians Association". Living Streets. Retrieved 2010-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Campaign to combat pavement parking". Living Streets. Retrieved 2010-03-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

See also

Further reading

External links