Creating a user-friendly covered walkway: our top tips

It goes without saying that covered walkways need to be user-friendly – otherwise they won’t get used. Here are some tips on creating a user-friendly covered walkway…

Ensure the position is correct

Positioning is of paramount importance. It’s no good installing the walkway where it’s inconvenient for users. They’ll just find other ways to get from A to B – possibly taking a dangerous route.

Covered walkways for safety

Companies and organisations have a duty to take reasonable care of employees, customers and clients – in fact, any member of the public who might use their premises.

Covered walkways are intended to protect people from danger – mainly from slipping over in inclement weather like rain, wind, snow and ice.

However, care needs to be taken to ensure the walkway itself doesn’t become a source of any danger.

If there is going to be an accident in a properly constructed covered walkway, it will be because someone has discarded something that shouldn’t be there – whether it be a banana skin or a bulky box.

Consider who is expected to use the covered walkway

To be user-friendly, consideration needs to be given to who exactly the user will be. Will it be intended for members of the public – of all ages – or mainly older people?

Will it be used by shoppers with trolleys? Or will it be used by employees, tradespeople, school children or nursery age children?

Take into account the user’s needs

It is necessary to narrow down the particular needs of the user.

For instance, if the walkway will be used in a care home setting, the use of wheelchairs must be taken into account. Not only will the walkway need to be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair – or possibly two – but there will perhaps need to be a covered area at both ends of the walkway where wheelchairs can be stored.

The same goes for shoppers with trolleys. Careful thought needs to be given to where shoppers might discard their trolleys.

For older schoolchildren, consideration needs to be given to the bulky backpacks that they carry. Schools will have different policies on what pupils do with their bags, some ask children to leave PE kits and the like outside of classrooms – in this case, again, there might be a need for a covered area at either end of the walkway.

If the walkway is intended for very young children, it’s a good idea to provide enough space for them to hold hands and walk in pairs.

In addition, think about whether the walkway needs to be one-way – if this is the case, you may need two walkways or perhaps an extra wide walkway with special instructions for the user.

It may be that the walkway is necessary for social distancing purposes while we are in the midst of the Covid pandemic. If this is the case, these can be converted for other uses once the pandemic has passed.

Consult the experts on covered walkways

Ace Shelters have a number of covered walkway options available. The company also has a team of qualified designers and engineers who can help with planning through to installation.