Use of pedestrian barriers to support social distancing as shops begin to reopen

Use of pedestrian barriers to support social distancing as shops begin to reopenAs we see the nation begin to reopen their doors after an unprecedented three months, we take a look at how pedestrian barriers for public places are being used and how they can be used to support social distancing and keeping people safe, all while following the guidance issued. 

Managing crowd control, supporting queuing, public safety, and helping with increased security, pedestrian safety barriers during COVID 19 have never been so important. 

A brief look at the guidance for shops, commercial premises, and green spaces 

As we’re all aware, keeping socially distant by 2metres and washing our hands regularly are still the most effective ways/methods of preventing the spread of Coronavirus. 

However, to help support these measures and allow shops, retailers, and businesses to begin to reopen safely, other guidelines have also been put in place. 

This includes the use of plastic barriers to support the management of pedestrian space, including: 

  • Pedestrian movement and flow around the area identified. 
  • Queues and how to manage these safely and effectively, and 
  • Traffic management (which includes parking spaces and loading bays). 

The solutions that have been identified throughout the guidance are all temporary measures, meaning whatever you decide to use to help you with pedestrian management needs to be flexible and easy to manoeuvre and change. 

Why use Crowd Barriers? 

To make the best use of pedestrian space and for pedestrians to feel safe and confident when visiting your store, pedestrian barriers should be used to guide the public in the direction you want them to travel. 

Crowd control fencing in this capacity is also: 

  • Lightweight – making it easy to move to different locations. 
  • Durable and strong – especially when linked together providing great stability 
  • Available in a range of colours – and they’re reflective in their design, making them really stand out. 
  • Sturdy – so customers can’t easily move them. 
  • Flexible – it can be linked with other fence panels to make it any length and size you require. 

You can also attach signs to this type of fencing informing customers about social distancing and any other rules or instructions you would like them to follow. 

How you can use temporary pedestrian barriers to help make your business COVID secure 

Whether you’re a commercial business with offices or a retail unit based on the high street, within the guidance document outlined by the Government, it does state that temporary barriers could be a solution to help. 

But how? 

Ideally and so far, plastic barrier systems have been used and are advised for use for: 

Outlining parking bays and loading bays.  Identifying appropriate spaces as well as space between vehicles and employees for loading. 

Suppose parking bays are out of use to cordon these off or identify new areas and additional spaces.  Metal fencing in this capacity is a great choice.  

The guidance also outlines that commercial offices and retail units need to keep to a one-way system around stores, etc., all while still keeping to the 2-metre distant rule. 

Separate entry and exit routes also need to be created, with signs so people are fully aware of which direction they should be travelling. 

Of course, due to new one-way systems and staying apart, queues are expected to form much faster, and these must be managed. 

To help support this, crowd control barriers should be used to outline queuing systems outside of retail units, defining areas where pedestrians should stand, and separating entry and exit doors as required. 

For deliveries, it’s advised that these should be staggered, with a limited number of employees helping with the loading and unloading of goods.  Again, loading bays can be clearly identified using reflective retractable fencing, and areas can be cordoned off where deliveries must be dropped, and then kept secure behind the retractable fencing. 

Within green spaces measures Local Authorities are taking include: 

Temporary plastic and retractable fencing used to outline and highlight more cycle lanes, as well as using the fencing to increase the spacing of cycle lanes. Hence, cyclists have a greater opportunity to abide by social distancing rules. 

Local Authorities are also using crowd control barrier systems to help pedestrianise roads (where appropriate), and widen footpaths, allowing people the room to walk down high streets, again in a socially distant way. 

Physical barriers are also being used more predominantly to separate vehicle traffic to allow for pedestrian areas and walkways to be widened, as when interlinked, these plastic barriers are extremely stable and durable, making them suitable for all weather conditions.  Due to their linkability, they can also be extended to any length you require. 

Plus, local authorities and businesses have found that due to the stability that this type of fencing provides, it has deterred people from moving them – as cones seemed to have a habit of being moved quite easily, or indeed stolen! 

Transport hubs 

Within transport hubs zones have been created using retractable pedestrian barriers to help identify particular destinations, etc., and to stop people from going between all different zones and areas. 

More pedestrian safety barriers have been deployed at ticket areas to help manage queues and crowd control. 

This has been especially prevalent at transport hub entrance and exit ways. 

Pick-up zones have also been identified, made accessible, and marked out, with clearly defined areas and outlines. 

To help support pedestrian flow outside of transport hubs, temporary safety fencing is being used to help widen footpaths, and you will find this implemented across many bus terminals and train stations. 

Supporting marketplaces 

You can find pedestrian barriers already in use in local marketplaces, however with COVID 19, these barriers may need extending further, and this needs to be borne in mind if additional space is being offered to accommodate social distancing. 

At Site Fencing, we always have additional fencing in stock and loaded ready to be delivered to our customers asap! 

Within marketplaces, temporary fencing is currently being advised to be used for queuing systems helping to steer customers to and through the space. 

Green Spaces 

Temporary fencing is used to support footway widening, one-way movement, and signs to encourage social distancing continually. 

Exits and entrances need to be maximised and highlighted to reduce queues forming, and traffic lanes currently can be completely pedestrianised if it is appropriate to do so. 

Erecting robust barriers helps you meet the Government’s main criteria of utilising pedestrian space, keeping the movement of traffic safe and secure, managing queuing requirements to the best of your ability, and supporting traffic management. 

Types of pedestrian fencing include: 

  • Mesh Fencing 
  • Retractable safety barrier 
  • Plastic barriers 
  • Water filled barriers 
  • Metal pedestrian barriers 
  • Galvanised barriers 
  • And more! 

Don’t forget Site Fencing is on hand to help you with all of your current risk assessments where temporary pedestrian barriers for public place safety have been identified as the perfect solution. 

With a range of fencing types available, check out our stock online or call us on 01274 833 396. 

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