Planning for Walking Toolkit

Closed 22 Aug 2019

Opened 11 Jul 2019


Getting people walking is vital for the future health of our city. We need to ensure that the streets we are designing make walking the most attractive choice for short, as well as connected journeys. Every day more than 35 million journeys in London are walked. This includes six million walk-all-the-way trips and seven million walked journey stages of over five minutes. However the proportion of people choosing to walk has been relatively constant for several years.

We need to tackle the over dependency on private car use by breaking down the barriers to walking. Planning for walking is complex and no one approach fits all situations – good planning requires an appreciation of how our whole urban system needs to be designed to better facilitate walking: our streets and open spaces; the buildings that front onto these and the transport hubs that support onward movement. With the Mayor’s plan for London to become the ‘world’s most walkable city’, we need to work collaboratively with our stakeholders and the boroughs to plan and design streets that encourage walking across London. This means that there is a clear need for guidance that encourages designers to specifically plan and design for walking in the schemes they work on.

Planning for Walking Toolkit – what is it and why is it needed?

With the above in mind, we have developed a Planning for Walking Toolkit. This handbook has been designed to bridge the gap between high level aspirations in our Walking Action Plan, which set our strategic initiatives, and our technical design guidance (Streetscape Guidance) which covers design standards and infrastructure details.

Read our Planning for Walking Toolkit document (PDF 5.95MB)

It has become apparent through engagement across TfL and with interest groups, that there is a need to provide guidance that links the range of recent planning and design tools developed by TfL, particularly in relation to ensuring high quality facilities are provided for people walking.

The aim of this toolkit therefore is to provide planners and designers with a document that brings together a range of recommended tools and resources for planning and designing good walking environments - from brief development through to data collection, analysis and onto shaping the feasibility design. This includes acknowledging the importance of the inclusive design process, while introducing a series of pedestrian network design principles.

It is not expected that most users will read the whole document from cover to cover so we have designed it to allow readers to dip into sections where they are looking for specific recommendations.

The document is laid out into four main chapters:

Policy Context in London - to link various related policies and ensure a coordinated spatial approach

Planning & Design Principles – setting out the importance of an inclusive design approach and network design principles

Planning & Design Tools – listing a wider range of available tools and how these can be applied to ensure a good understanding of issues relating to walking

Case studies – highlighting where good practice has been applied successfully

While some users may feel that particular sections are more relevant for their everyday role than others, some familiarity of each chapter is recommended to understand the wider context for good planning and design for walking.

We anticipate that once planners have used this document to identify key issues for walking, planned where to target improvements and written a project and design brief, they will next refer to the Streetscape Guidance for detailed technical guidance for use in design planning.

Why We Are Consulting

We are seeking your views on whether the document helps give clarity regarding the wealth of tools available for developing a design brief that can positively impact on the pedestrian network. We would also like to know what your experience is of using these, or other tools, and any suggestions for how they can most effectively be applied.

Following feedback from stakeholders in December 2018 and internal feedback, we have decided that the document should not repeat the design standards that are available elsewhere, and the focus of the document should be on planning principles and processes to help target investment. The working title has changed accordingly to reflect this: from “Walking Design Guidance” to “The Planning for Walking Toolkit”. We are now seeking views on the first full draft of the document from our partners, stakeholders and accessibility groups involved in planning and designing schemes as well as those responsible for managing streets.

The overarching principles have already been presented to a broad range of interest groups at Living Streets’ annual walking conference and high level feedback was consistent in suggesting there is a need to bring together an approach for applying the range of tools that are currently available to practitioners. An Accessibility Forum event was also held on 26 November 2018 where we collected comments from people representing those with protected characteristics and this helped to shape sections on engagement and inclusive design.

We would welcome any comments that you have on the content, structure and design approach set out in this document so that we can ensure the document is as useful for you as possible.

Equality Impact assessment

We are subject to the general public sector equality duty set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, which requires us to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations by reference to people with protected characteristics.  The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity,race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

It is not anticipated that this work will adversely impact on people with protected characteristics. The ethos of the document is to elevate the importance of inclusive design in the early stage of a project. It reiterates the Healthy Streets approach to street design and identifies the tools that can be used to work toward delivering healthy outcomes for all protected characteristics. The EqIA can be found below.

Planning for Walking Toolkit Equality Impact Assessment (PDF 151KB)

Have your say

We would like to know what you think about our proposals.

Please give us your views by completing the online survey below by Thursday 22 August 2019.

Alternatively, you can:

You can also request paper copies of all the consultation materials and a response form by emailing, or writing to FREEPOST TFL CONSULTATIONS.


  • All Areas


  • Anyone from any background


  • Walking
  • Policy