We’ve noticed that pedestrians here generally keep to the right hand side of the footpath, whereas Wellingtonians walk on the left. I wasn’t consciously aware of being a left-side walker until I came here and realised, from my stop-start, side-stepping progress up the street, that I was following a code of pedestrian conduct that wasn’t universal.  

If I’d thought about it before I left NZ, I might have assumed that New Zealanders walk on the left because they drive on the left, and that pedestrians in Scotland would do the same. That they don’t is curious. Perhaps the answer lies in Ewan’s First impressions blog post of 30 March: there are a lot of foreigners in town. Could the sheer volume of visitors from right-driving countries have changed the city’s pedestrian norms?


3 thoughts on “Pedestrians

  1. When I was in Edinburgh last year for the CALC conference I did the same: walked on the left side because of the belief that the Scots would also, applying the same reasoning as you mention. I too found myself dodging people and wondering why I was a salmon swimming against the current. I moved to walking on the right a day or two after arriving after a youngish man yelled at me in a very broad Scottish voice (in translation this is what I think he said) “Are you f**ken thick? Walk on the other side you dumb b**ch.” I think that the man was angry before I gave him reason to vent, so didn’t take it too personally. He was able to give his instructions while keeping his cigarette in his mouth. I thought that took some agility.

    Liked by 1 person

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