SHROPSHIRE Council is being urged to make improvements to “inadequate” footpaths and put pedestrians first in future highways projects so that people are not put off from walking.

Reducing pavement obstructions and increasing in the number of pedestrian crossings are just some of the measures put forward in a motion to be tabled by the Liberal Democrat group at a full council meeting next week.

The group says current walking conditions are resulting in people driving short journeys which could be walked or wheeled if their needs were put above those of motorists.

Members are calling for better pavement maintenance, new rules around driveways which cross footpaths, and measures to prevent obstructions caused by temporary roadworks signs.

They are also asking for an online interactive map covering the whole county – similar to the one launched last year by the Big Town Plan to gather suggestions on Covid measures in Shrewsbury town centre – which people could use to highlight areas where improvements are needed to the walking environment.

The group says this will allow the council to keep a list of locations which require attention.

The motion reads: “A large number of pavements across Shropshire are damaged, too narrow, or inadequate in some other way.

“In rural areas pavements are often missing on routes to community facilities such as GP surgeries, schools, and shops.

“Pavements are often blocked by temporary road signs for roadworks.

“The level of pavements is often disrupted for access to driveways and other inlets.

“Pavement users in wheelchairs, and those with prams and pushchairs, cannot always find dropped kerbs to cross roads.

“Pavements are often damaged and uneven as a result of being uplifted by tree roots.

“Pavements are not swept regularly which in autumn means they can become very slippery with rotting leaves.

“In winter pavements are not cleared of snow and the contrast with major roads, which are always cleared of snow, could not be more stark. At such times, many pedestrians are forced to walk in the road.

“All of the above make it difficult for pedestrians, particularly those with mobility issues or those using prams and pushchairs and can act as a disincentive to leave home and thereby increase social isolation.”

As well as creating an interactive map, the motion would see the council bring in policies to ensure new housing developments are “easily and safely accessible and navigable by foot”, and appoint an officer within the highways department to have specific responsibility for walking.

A series of other measures are also proposed, including asking officers to look into the possibility of placing roadworks signs at a high level, on things like lampposts, and how the number of pedestrian crossings could be increased.

The motion will be discussed by the full council at a meeting on Thursday, February 25.