Safe pedestrian routes include pavements and safe crossing points or, where provided, dedicated controlled crossing points. A safe crossing point could also be a tactile crossing that drops to the level of the road, which could be used by wheelchair users. An element of assessor judgement is required and if in doubt, their justification of safe crossing points should be provided.
For measuring the distance, for example, you could measure a safe pedestrian route along a pavement, across a road at a safe point and along the pavement on the other side. The distance should not be measured diagonally across a road along the most direct route.
In terms of evidence, Google Maps may be used, provided that the scale is appropriate and clearly indicated. In order to demonstrate that the route is ‘safe’, ‘Streetview’ may be acceptable for Design Stage evidence, however this should be verified by the assessor’s site inspection and photographs of any key areas for the Post Construction Review. The assessor’s site inspection is an important aspect of the assessment of this issue as it must confirm that the Google Maps and Streetview information is current, and may help to identify safe crossing points or hazards which may not be apparent from a desktop study.
The purpose of requiring ‘safe pedestrian routes’ is to ensure that there are suitable pavements and that distances are not measured using the shortest route, ignoring safety issues. If a pedestrian crossing or crossing island is available to assist crossing busy road, the route and distance should account for this.