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Do pedestrians stay on the left side in the U.K.?

Do pedestrians stay on the left side in the U.K.?

Jan 15th, 2010, 05:49 AM
  #1  
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Do pedestrians stay on the left side in the U.K.?

Threads about the challenge of driving on the opposite side that we are used to made me wonder--in the U.S. pedestrians generally stay to the right on sidewalks. Do the British (Aussies, Indians, etc.) do the opposite?
DancingBearMD is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 06:01 AM
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In general YES! Escalators are the opposite as well. And you are suppose to go up and down the left side of the staircases as well. Really was weird when I first moved here.

But then sometimes there are no rules...and its every man/woman for herself.
jamikins is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 06:02 AM
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Oh I should also add...if you just want to stand on the escalator you need to stand on the right, people will walk up past you on the left. If you stop on the left you will certainly hear about it right away as people try to get past you!
jamikins is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 06:08 AM
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They stay on the left in Japan, too.
GaryCA is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 06:56 AM
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Depends on the sidewalk (pavement). Apart from escalators on the tube, we are not that disciplined, I would think. And London tends to be different. You have to walk the way you would drive - plan your lane changes!
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Jan 15th, 2010, 07:01 AM
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One of the best things in England: lane discipline on escalators (unless one makes the mistake to enter Harrod's).

Apart from that I agree with local expert Patrick: Be flexible and walk where there is room. If in doubt I have become accustomed to avoid people by staying on the left, though (although with the share of population in London that originally comes from foreign countries with right-lane traffic one probably cannot take any specific reaction for granted).
And the correlation of tube exits to supposedly pre-dominant walking directions has remained a mystery to me.
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Jan 15th, 2010, 07:03 AM
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Thinking about escalators: Lane discipline is high, but actually on the escalators, there is no change to other remotely civilised countries: Walking is on the left and standing on the right - with left hand traffic, one could expect standing on the left and walking on the right, but not so.
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Jan 15th, 2010, 07:13 AM
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I agree that on the pavements alot of the time it is a bit jumbled, but I found people tend to automatically veer to the left to avoid people here, wheras I automatically veer to the right being from Canada - led to some 'collisions' until I adjusted hahaha
jamikins is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 07:15 AM
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hsv is right, here in the Netherlands one stands on the right and walk on the left on escalators and on the moving walkways at Schiphol for instance.
hetismij is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 09:16 AM
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Not aware of such behaviour here in the UK, but maybe this is more obvious for those used to driving on the right. A more important unwritten rule for pedestians on our narrow old pavements is to pass someone coming from the opposite direction such that the person walking in the same direction as the traffic on the road isn't forced out into the road where they can't see what's whizzing up behind them. Expect some tutt-tutting from the locals if you fail to follow this.
Gordon_R is offline  
Jan 15th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Before going to London, I fully expected to have to keep to the left as religiously as I keep to right in the US, but I found less uniformity there. The custom on tube escalators, as others have mentioned, is the same as in the US. On sidewalks, it was usually safe to veer left in the face of oncoming pedestrians, but not always -- just too many people, and lots of them from right-side countries, at least in the areas thick with tourists.
kayd is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 03:43 AM
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Where does this extraordinary claim about Amricans having lane discipline when walking come from?

For years I've been trying to find ANY street in New York where people walk on the left or right. I've never seen a single example. Ditto Chicago.

May well be the custom in some hollowed out relic like Louisville,where the two pedestrians the city sees a year religiously avoid each other.

But in real cities? clearly a myth of suburbanites
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 05:33 AM
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Flanneruk,

Wrong!

Extrapolating from NY or Chicago is like extrapolating from Oxford Street. They are filled with filthy foreign sewers.

Note to other readers: "filthy foreign sewers" like "abroad is bloody" is a literary reference. I am not a xenophobe.
Ackislander is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 06:05 AM
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If you want to see chaos on escalators come to Ireland, where people absolutely refuse to obey the convention to Stand on the Right (probably seen as a British thing).
Ricardo_215 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 10:36 AM
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Not in Scotland, we don't
sheila is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 10:37 AM
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A man should walk on the right of a woman in the street (this is really true - it's in books and everything). The reason being that it exposes the man to the road - so if there is any splashing etc he protects the bird.

CW - Knows this stuff. Very little else, but is top of the form on this guff.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 10:49 AM
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No we don't stay on the left on pavements...but on the right of escalators is usually a good idea....
alihutch is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 11:10 AM
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I thought that the man walked on the right so that he could draw his sword to protect the burd
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Jan 16th, 2010, 11:12 AM
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That too.

Basically that's our role in life - splash shields and sword fodder.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 11:25 AM
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A man should walk on the right of a woman in the street (this is really true - it's in books and everything). The reason being that it exposes the man to the road - so if there is any splashing etc he protects the bird.

An ex bf of mine observed this one....
alihutch is offline  

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