Campaigning for walkers to keep left

Dear Editor,

When I was at school, we were encouraged to keep left when walking through corridors – which I think is still general practice – but on escalators, the instructions vary depending upon where you live and on country lanes, walkers usually keep right: no wonder the great British public is confused!

I am in my early 70s and I enjoy walking. Keeping left in urban areas when passing other walkers is the safest procedure as whoever is then walking closest to the traffic will be walking towards the traffic with a clear view of what is approaching so, should they choose to step off the pavement into the gutter in order to maintain a two-metre gap, they will not have to quickly check over their shoulder before they make such a decision.

I am wanting to start a campaign ‘Left is Best’ for walkers. I am not advocating a change in the law, older people and young children may still want to hug the wall, well away from the road, but the rest of us will not have to ‘dance-around’ one another before deciding how to manoeuvre safely on our way. Two or more people walking side by side could also be encouraged to change to snake formation in order to pass other pedestrians.

Any thoughts from your readers on how we could go about this campaign and if anyone wants to support me would be much appreciated.

Maggie Joan Haggas

3rd Age Hostelling and Housing/Sparkle Housing Co-op/WalkRideCIC



  1. That certainly makes sense and I must admit I don’t like it, if I’m forced into the road especially when the traffic is behind me. It is annoying when people insist on walking two or three abreast when heading towards you and sometimes rather than go onto the road or walk into them, I am prepared to stop dead so that they have to adjust their grouping in order to avoid a collision. Giving way to people with disabilities or young children is O.K. but why should I walk on the road for a group of chatting youngsters or someone riding their bike along the pavement. Normally one had a choice as to which side of the road to be on but I must agree with the old advice on country roads, especially if there isn’t any footpath, of facing on-coming traffic and walking in single file. I can remember years ago in Cornwall regularly harassing our children about keeping in single file. How you go about convincing the British Public to abide by any sensible guidelines is something for which unfortunately I don’t have any inspired suggestions.


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