The UK government’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the re-opening of non-essential businesses will lead to an increase in skating and, in some cases, anti-social behaviour in retail areas, according to Studmarc.
During lockdown the amount of crime in terms of violence fell dramatically in England and Wales, although there was a rise in some anti-social behaviour, according to the police.
However, as more people return to the streets to shop and restrictions on movement are eased, Robert Hawgood, Managing Director of Studmarc, a Mid Wales-based company specialising in anti-skating studs and solutions and demarcation, said skaters and others would return to public areas.
“Lockdown meant very few people were on the streets, particularly in retail areas, shopping centres and business parks. However, with the easing of restrictions there will be an increase in those wanting to get out, particularly among younger people who will want to meet friends and skate in areas where there needs to be social distancing,” said Mr Hawgood.
He said the combination of social distancing and skating could cause problems.
“Many towns are adapting by temporarily pedestrianising roads and retail areas to allow the two-metre rule between the public. But this will mean even larger open areas in town and retail centres, tempting skating and cycling.
Permanent social distancing solutions
“With social distancing likely to be with us for some time yet, more permanent solutions will be needed for demarcation. A combination of demarcation and anti-skating solutions could help alleviate the situation,” he said.
Studmarc has devised a range of products that are architecturally aesthetic, allowing clearly defined areas for pedestrians while acting as a deterrent to skaters and others.
“Town centres have large paved areas and street furniture that can be attractive for skaters to use. However, with anti-skating studs it’s very easy to deter them. At the same time, the demarcation studs are ideal tools for guiding pedestrians, cyclists and other street users,” said Robert.
Demarcation and anti-skating studs
The metal demarcation studs come in a variety of styles and sizes and are designed to mark out designated areas. Bespoke sizes and designs are possible which can include graphics and text where required. Road studs and tactile warning studs are also used.
The anti-skate studs come in a range of designs and can be retrofitted to floor areas as well as on buildings, street furniture, walls and seating.
“The solutions can also be introduced to other areas, such as parks and areas where people are going for their exercise or to relax as part of the current coronavirus restrictions,” added Robert.
“Deterring skating in public areas will ensure the safety of all at a time when we need to ensure social distancing is in place. While some aspects of this will be temporary, installing such devices can ensure long-term solutions post COVID-19. Studmarc has also launched a range of other social distancing products that can be used in temporary environments. These include retractable belt posts, A-boards, crowd barriers, extendable barriers, line paint markers and others.