Last minute street furniture solutions for ensuring a safe return to the street

Last minute street furniture solutions for ensuring a safe return to the street

The UK government’s road map to re-open the country post-Covid-19 means many built environments need quick solutions to ensure safety for shoppers, workers and residents.

With April expected to see many high street businesses opening in England, streetscapes and retail areas need to accelerate their use of street furniture in time, according to Robert Hawgood, Managing Director of Landmark Street Furniture.

Local authorities and property management companies are among those seeking to retrofit street furniture into existing urban spaces, while architects and property developers are incorporating such systems into new developments.

The same situation is needed in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where governments are setting out their own timetable and regulations post-Covid-19.

“It’s not quite a race against time, but we’re hearing from architects and local authorities who want to ensure they have the right environment for supporting social distancing and access control to buildings, streetscapes and recreational areas,” said Mr Hawgood.

Last-minute integration of street furniture

“Many construction projects have or are nearing completion, but the integration or enhancement of street furniture solutions has been left until the last minute.

“In some cases, it has been an after-thought and so we are coming in at short notice to provide project support, such as design and installation. In other cases, we are simply suppling equipment at short notice.”

The high street will be a different experience post-Covid-19. Landmark believes there will be greater emphasis on pedestrian zones and cycling access.

Garden streets will grow in commercial and residential areas, with a need for street furniture such as planters, seating, bollards and demarcation to create safe environments.

“Last year most town centres introduced temporary pedestrian zones and pop-up cycleways. It is only this year that more permanent measures are being planned, with some still going through the planning process,” said Mr Hawgood.

New public spaces created for social distancing

“New ‘spaces’ are being created to allow safer access for shoppers and workers, such demarcation with architectural studs, bollards to prevent vehicular access and products such as planters and seating to break-up open spaces and provide safe havens.”

The UK government has already said that open air areas help reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus. This means street furniture will play a big part, including covered areas for people to meet outdoors.

“The street environment is changing. The hospitality industry, such as pubs, restaurants and cafes will need to provide outdoor areas and the local authorities are already providing relevant licences for pavement use,” said Mr Hawgood.

Mr Hawgood added that the increase in cyclists meant more secure bicycle storage is also needed in town centres.

Last year, Landmark Street Furniture highlighted how a typical high street will look post-Covid-19.

It consists of elements to break-up

areas for shoppers, people to rest, cyclists and create pedestrianised areas.

This includes:

  • Planters and Benches
    • o Aesthetically pleasing, available in stone, wood and metal, planters can be positioned to introduce routes through an area by creating barriers. Used in conjunction with seating and screens, they are physical interventions that can guide pedestrians and vehicles.
    • Bollards
    • o One of the most widely used forms of a barrier or for access control, they come in a range of forms that can address movement and direction.
    • Canopies and walkways
    • o Where all-weather movement is needed, these can be implemented in areas to help guide movement. Used in conjunction with floor studs, the direction and distancing of pedestrians can be easily demonstrated.
    • Seating
    • o Seating will always be required in high streets and public places. The size and positioning can help create a rest point for people as well as acting as a physical intervention within an open area.
    • Access Control
    • o Door guards, flow plates, barriers, and speed reduction ramps can all help control the movement of people, cyclists and vehicles.

Landmark Street Furniture is one of the leading suppliers and installers of secure bike storage systems and street furniture in the UK, working with multi-national blue-chip companies through to small and medium-sized businesses, colleges and universities, shopping centres and the public sector.

Based near Newtown, Powys, in Mid Wales, it has customers throughout the UK and provides a one-stop-shop for the planning, design and installation of products including access control, anti-skate studs, bollards, planters and benches, canopies and walkways, landscape structure and buildings, litter control and COVID-19 distancing products.

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