Surface Materials

A change in materials or, for example, higher kerbs can serve to emphasise other speed restraint measures and reduce the apparent width of the carriageway. Higher kerbs or retaining walls should be protected from pedestrians by thick planting or railings.

The provision and type of materials used for ground surfacing should be considered from the outset of any new development, and an approach taken to enable the development to strike the right balance between meeting the needs of all users, over its lifetime, without the need for adaptation in the future, and addressing the technical highway requirements, and future maintenance.

Consideration needs to be given to the colours, patterns and type of materials to be used.  A varied mixed of colours can sometimes be confusing for people affected by certain health conditions, including dementia, where black and/or dark colours can be viewed as a hole, trip hazard or barrier, and a variety of patterns can create the illusion that there is no clear route to follow, and result in disorientation and anxiety.

Consideration should also be given to the potential for conflict between the provision of tactile surfaces that are designed for the blind or partially sighted, and the implications of such surfaces on accessibility for less mobile people, who may be using wheelchairs, mobility scooters or walking aids.


Page updated: 2/02/2018


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