After the recent uncertain times different measures have had to be thought out and put in place to help keep everyone feeling safe and secure during their daily lives. Following the government recommendation to socially distance during the pandemic, local councils have had to find realistic and cost-effective ways to widen the footpaths for residents. One example of an area having taken this initiative is Bath Road in Hounslow West which sees high footfall around the row of shops near Hounslow station.
The council's initial response for the need of a wider footpath was to suspend the parking at the site and place bollards around the suspended spaces. It was hoped that pedestrians would make use of the suspended parking spaces, but the lack of clarity around the reason for the suspension created confusion for both businesses and residents.
After a review of the initial measures, Hounslow Council decided to take a more creative approach to the challenge. InUse ReUse, in collaboration with Yes Make and Resolve Collective, installed a trial wooden pavement extension near a frequently used cash point machine on Bath Road. As this approach had never been seen before it naturally attracted some scepticism. However as pedestrians began to utilise the extra space, local businesses expressed an appetite and need for the temporary extension to be installed across a longer portion of the road!
The extension was installed adjacent to the pavement and at the same height. The extension also included ramps so that those who needed dropped kerbs also had accessible use of the pavement as well as the temporary extensions. Following the success of the trial, the temporary pavement extensions were used to extend the pavement on Bath Road using 36 reused pallets. Not only creating a means to help keep everyone safe, but utilising material that would have otherwise gone to waste!
As a result of this approach, the council have been able to create a space in which residents can reasonably observe social distancing around their favourite local businesses. Hopefully meaning that the residents of the area have felt at ease in their usual place of gathering!
By using upcycled pallets for this initiative, the pavements were able to be extended quickly moreover the extensions can be quickly removed, as and when social distancing rules are relaxed!
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