Parents and Young Families
Parents with young families are a significant portion of the population who can have additional travel requirements. If you have ever tried to move around your town centre with a pushchair you will appreciate the need for wide pavements, dropped curbs and a smooth finish to the street so as not wake up sleeping children!
Some larger retailers and shopping centres offer buggy parks where these can be left; if you can identify a suitable space in your town centre, the only cost is for signage, and it may help to add to the family friendly reputation of your high street. Buggies are left at the owners' risk, but all the same, it may be worthwhile working with local Police to ensure the area is well monitored.
If you have primary schools in or near your town centre you may find access constricted at school start and finish times during term time by the infamous school run. A simple, inexpensive initiative which also addresses the environmental and health concerns associated with travel by car is Walking School Buses.
A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. It can be as informal as two families taking turns walking their children to school to as structured as a route with meeting points, a timetable and a regularly rotated schedule of trained volunteers. Parents often cite safety issues as one of the primary reasons they are reluctant to allow their children to walk to school. Providing adult supervision may help reduce those worries for families who live within walking or bicycling distance to school.
A variation on the walking school bus is the bicycle train, in which adults supervise children riding their bikes to school. The flexibility of the walking school bus makes it appealing to communities of all sizes with varying needs.