Westside BID launches social distancing pavement markings on Broad Street

One of the UK’s first pavement markings and signage schemes designed to guide the public how to follow social distancing is being launched on Broad Street, Birmingham.

Westside BID is laying 100-metres of two-way markings on a 60-metre stretch of pavement from the junctions of Gas Street and then along Broad Street to Berkley Street.

The pilot scheme will be unveiled for Westside BID tomorrow morning (20 May) by Councillor Waseem Zaffar, the cabinet member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council.

As part of the launch, the route will then trialled for the media by more than a dozen key workers, to show how the markings and signage will help the general public to adhere to social distancing once businesses in the area begin to re-open.

Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, said: “These pavement markings have been designed specifically to help people easily follow social distancing guidelines.

“Our understanding is that we are among the first areas of a UK city centre to pilot this sort of initiative.

“We hope that the pilot will be seen as a successful way to help businesses in our area to prepare to reopen, keeping staff and visitors safe when Birmingham’s ‘golden mile’ starts to re-open.

“If this pilot is deemed successful, we will work with the city council to hopefully install similar pavement markings and signage across the entire Westside BID area.”

Councillor Zaffar said: “This pilot fits in with our emergency Birmingham transport plan and we will do everything possible to support Westside BID to make this happen.”

The pavement markings have been commissioned from signage company Hollywood Monster.

Tim Andrews, of Hollywood Monster, explained that the pavement markings are made of a material called Street Wrap, a self-adhesive vinyl that is shrink-wrapped with heat to the pavement, then covered with anti-scratch laminate to make it hard-wearing.

He said this is expected to last for a period of three to four months, which made it ideal in case something more permanent was needed, or if social distancing guidelines changed.

By Steve Dyson.

2 thoughts on “Westside BID launches social distancing pavement markings on Broad Street

  1. Whilst this seems like a logic step and generally good idea I have a few concerns.
    I walk these streets daily (or I used to) this patch is smaller than the photo makes it out to be. What about coming across bikes? cyclist are very common in the area and have no regard for pedestrians especially during this COVID situation. Secondly what about overtaking? I do not want to get stuck behind people walking slowly. Around this particular stretch there are businesses that operate and people often have to queue out of the door to get in. When more of us return to work how will this factor in?
    Whilst I don’t smoke how do these social distance lanes account for colleagues who take smoking breaks. Finally this stretch of pavement is already suffering due to the presence of roadworks we need to keep our distance from the dust clouds as well as each other. How do you expect to factor this into consideration?

    Kind Regards

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