Image by Srecko Skrobic

Additional Communication, Technology And Regulatory Considerations

In considering the design interventions, owners and operators should also take account of signing and communications, opportunities through technology and regulatory considerations.

Temporary signing and communication considerations

Owners/operators are advised to provide clear and concise information to the public on how to adhere to social distancing. They are advised to emphasise the latest government advice on safety procedures and carefully consider social distancing guidelines in public places. This could include:

  • Using simple, clear and accessible images and messaging to explain guidelines, with consideration for groups whose first language may not be English or where alternative formats may be required.

  • Showing the maximum number of people who can queue safely (accounting for social distancing).

  • Signs and announcements about safe travel and maintaining social distancing. Signs should be placed strategically to maximise impact.

  • Information on changes for disabled users and how they can continue to access public places in a safe way.

  • Providing stewards in the busiest areas.

  • Marking appropriate spaces for queuing, accounting for queues and space required by neighbouring premises whilst taking security considerations into account.

Additional digital considerations

Owners/operators may want to consider the use of data and digital tools to make it easier for people to maintain social distancing, and to aid decision making regarding the management and modification of spaces. This could include:

  • Making data available that shows the current footfall of spaces, especially those spaces that are prone to overcrowding; access to data and digital tools will allow people to more effectively plan their journeys and choose alternative spaces or use spaces at other times of day.

  • Owners/operators should consider using data and digital tools to monitor the usage of spaces, and to make modifications to the access and use of those spaces as required.

  • Data and digital tools may also be needed to anticipate and plan for the changing use of public places over time, to expect and mitigate the potential for overcrowding at certain sites during peak usage times, and to take any necessary corrective measures to make it easier for people to socially distance.

  • Consider how existing e-booking systems can be utilised to support the effective capacity management of public spaces, such as outdoor sports courts, and provide key guidance for usage.

While undertaking any of the actions advised, account should be taken of risk of transmission through touch. In addition, you must have regard for your regulatory and statutory duties such as those in relation to cyber security and data protection.

Additional security and enforcement considerations

A revised layout may present new security risks, particularly where multiple queues are created. Owners and operators of public places are advised to consider the security implications of temporary interventions to support social distancing.

To mitigate new security risks, we recommend that queuing is organised within areas that have existing protection such as vehicle security barriers. Where this is not possible you should consider: routing queues behind permanent physical structures (e.g. street furniture, bollards, trolley parks & bike racks) to provide a visual deterrent and delay; closing off vehicle access to shared spaces; adjusting servicing and delivery times; reducing the opportunities for vehicles (including potentially hostile vehicles) to interact with pedestrians; erecting robust barriers; introducing a reduced speed limit mandated using traffic calming. Operators and authorities should not remove any security features / useful street furniture items without considering protective security in the round.

Regulatory considerations

As an owner and/or operator of urban and/or green spaces it is important to consider all relevant legal obligations before implementing interventions recommended by this guidance.