This might seem to defeat the point of Slow Ways, but hear me out.
I (and probably at least 50% of the population, let's be honest) don't feel comfortable working certain routes at night, or even during daylight hours. For me the main reason is that there is no 'escape route' available, e.g. if I'm walking on a canal towpath there are limited access points to major roads / population centres, or if I'm crossing a field there is just... more field. Additionally, you're not going to find street lights at the top of Mam Tor.
It can feel very unsafe to use certain routes at certain times (and you don't know if you're going to get caught out after dark if a route is challenging), but I still love going walking for long distances.
When using Google Maps, there are two problems that I frequently encounter that I'd like to find a solution to:
1. As above, if there was an option, or if it could be included in the review/rating somehow, to avoid secluded and poorly-lit routes;
2. To avoid major roads that are technically 'A' roads but extremely dangerous for pedestrians, e.g. a dual carriageway with national speed limit and no footpath.
Someone else has mentioned national speed limits in another post, but I'm including it in my query because the issue I'm concerned with is personal safety in general. I suppose what I'd like to see is a tickbox or something for 'safer' routes, or maybe a commentary on particular perceived hazards. Also remember that what looks dangerous to one person, e.g. a woman, might look safe to somebody else.
One way of illustrating what I mean is to consider two routes I have walked with the assistance of Google Maps.
Manchester to New Mills - The route is almost entirely on the A6, and as far as I can remember there are pavements for virtually the whole length.
Atherton to Manchester - I wish I'd checked the route before I set off. I naively thought the route would be 100% on roads, and then discovered while en route, after sunset, that it went along a farm track, a drainage ditch, through a field and a housing estate before returning to safer looking main roads.
I can also see this being useful when walking between cities, as most navigation software and maps are geared towards these journeys being taken by car - as I said, I enjoy looooong walks but it often doesn't feel safe, or there is no obvious non-motorway road route.
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