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The Importance of Guardrails for Pedestrian Safety in Busy Cities

In busy towns and cities, railings are an effective measure to protect pedestrians from the dangers of traffic, or features of buildings such as steps. Guardrails specifically create a safety barrier between motorists and pedestrians, as well as for abrupt changes in elevation or to mark the edge of a road or pathway.

 

Guardrails as a Pedestrian Barrier

Guardrails are used for pedestrian guidance. In areas of busy traffic, it is important to stop pedestrians walking out into the road, especially where visibility is restricted due to crowding. They are implemented to control pedestrians (as well as cyclists and equestrians) on footways, cycleways, footpaths and bridleways, but not structures. Pedestrian restraints which protect pedestrians from dramatic changes in the height of a structure such as a bridge or high retaining walls are called pedestrian parapets.

 

Features of Guardrails

Guardrails are typically composed of strong metals which are concreted into the ground or bolted down so that they cannot be moved by human force. They can also be considered as obstacles, and so the risk of placing them must be weighed against their protective properties. A guardrail will not stop the total impact should a vehicle crash into it, however, it does stop pedestrians being forced by crowds into the roads, and prohibits them from walking into the road where it is unsafe, or there is a steep drop.

 

Where are Guardrails needed?

Guardrails should typically be positioned in areas where the divide between pedestrians and traffic is small, or there are tight corners where vehicles are in close proximity to pedestrian areas at the edge of walkways. Wherever there is a high collision risk if pedestrians cross into the road, guardrails should be placed for the protection of pedestrians to reduce injuries if they were to walk out into the road. A common place that guardrails are effective is alongside pedestrian crossings and outside schools in order to direct pedestrians to a safe crossing place, and stop them crossing where it is potentially not safe to do so. Other uses include rail crossings or even at areas of high footfall for crowd control. Depending on the location requirements, and movement restriction, in some cases bollards may be a more effective solution than guardrails.

 

Choosing the right Guardrails

When choosing guardrails for your area, it is important to consider not only safety but also aesthetics. Barriers are commonly made of iron or steel, but can have timber elements such as handrails for a warmer touch. Guardrails can also be designed to incorporate specific requirements such as logos should this be desired. The flexible nature of guardrail design also gives you the opportunity to work to a budget and choose more cost effective solutions.

Find out more information about our range of guardrails or for advice on choosing the best guardrails for your next project, get in touch with Furnitubes on 020 8378 3200 today.

 

Author: Anna Curran - Follow us on

 

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