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More votes needed to get Newtown in top place

Created on 07/03/2018 @ 16:11
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Campaigners are urging residents to cast their vote and make Newtown Britain's Best Walking Neighbourhood.

It was revealed last week that Newtown had been shortlisted in the top 10 of the Ramblers Association award, but now campaigners say they need all the votes they can to make it to the top.

In Newtown, a series of walks have been developed and are now highlighted on a leaflet and signs in the town for local people and visitors to use.

It is understood Hastings in the south of England is currently in the lead with the most votes, followed by Stockbridge.

It is understood Newtown has around 500 votes, half of those of Hastings.

"We’ve launched the very first Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award to celebrate the places that put urban walkers first," said a Ramblers Association spokesperson.

"Recent figures from the Department for Transport show that walking trips have declined by almost a fifth over the last decade, yet there’s mounting evidence to suggest that walkable towns and cities have proven health benefits for residents. We’re calling on local authorities to make urban areas better designed for walking."

The latest study to make the case for walkable urban areas was published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health.

Researchers from Oxford University and the University of Hong Kong looked at 430,000 people living in 22 UK cities and found that more walkable neighbourhoods were associated with lower blood pressure and reduced risk of hypertension among its residents.

The results of the study suggest that poorly designed spaces inhibit physical activity and limited social interactions leading to more sedentary lifestyles and higher prevalence of chronic diseases and mental disorders.

This research highlights the need for greener towns and cities, with well-connected pedestrian routes and green spaces that make it easy to local amenities, as well as well-designed, well-kept streets and public spaces. The authors of the report stressed that “Well-designed walkable cities of today will be healthy cities of tomorrow.”

You can watch a video about Newtown's nomination here:

To vote, go here:

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