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How to Form a Safe and Orderly Queue at Your Venue

Whether it’s waiting for a bus on a rail replacement day, joining the throng of passengers at passport control or in line outside the nearest Apple store on the eve of their next iPhone release, there’s nothing we Brits like more than forming an orderly queue. Researchers at University College London have even published an academic report on the subject.

Brits have got it down to such a fine art that they have even been known to demonstrate queuing superpowers in the form of unprompted queuing. Fans at an Ed Sheeran gig in London obeyed ‘invisible lines’ as they waited to enter his sold out performance at The O2.

Research carried out by Visa Contactless has revealed Brits consider queuing one of our most tedious tasks – more so than washing up and even commuting.

What safety measures can I take to ensure orderly queuing at my event?

More often than not however, temporary fencing or barriers are required to ensure orderly queuing at events.

There are a number of security and safety options available and depending on exactly how and where you plan to use safety barriers will make one option more suitable than the other:

How can temporary Heras fencing be used for crowd control?

Round Top Anti Climb Heras Fence

We’ve all experienced the throng of a crowd when you arrive and leave a concert or other live event. There’s nothing more frustrating than arriving early to get a good spot and then watching latecomers sail in ahead of you. Disorderly queuing encourages queue jumping, which is guaranteed to get concert-goers hopping mad before the gig has even started – not the vibe you want to create at your event.

Temporary Heras fencing is typically associated with construction sites and, whilst it undeniably offers excellent site security, it is also a popular temporary fencing option for a wide range of events such as farmer’s markets, open air concerts, displays and festivals.

Temporary Heras fencing is also a good option for marking out secure areas and controlling pedestrian access, for example, at sporting events, road races or air displays.

With its easy installation and removal, temporary Heras fencing can quickly be put in place to safely control crowds and encourage orderly queuing at entrances and exits at public events.

What are the benefits of pedestrian barriers for safe queueing?

Pedestrian barriers are another option to consider if you are looking for a way of ensuring safe movement and crowd control.

Plastic or steel barriers can be used to mark out walkways and both options are relatively light-weight but very stable. Each type can be ‘interlocked’ (a bit like Lego blocks) to create a barrier run if you need to cover a considerable area.

Should I choose plastic or steel pedestrian barriers?

When it comes to choosing either plastic or steel barriers it’s worth weighing up the benefits of each option.

Police Pedestrian Barrier Two Units Joined Together

Where security is a high priority steel pedestrian barriers provide heavy-duty crowd control with a strength that means it is very difficult to breach them. Steel barriers offer a stronger option for queue management and where public safety at a distance is required, such as at a firework display or a large outdoor event. The anti-climb option may also be a benefit where perimeter security is needed, for example, at a festival.

Where large crowds are expected the stability and anti-trip design offered by steel barriers makes them a convenient choice.

What benefits do plastic barriers offer for pedestrian safety?

GB2 Barrier Delivery - Stacked

Plastic pedestrian barriers offer more versatility in terms of them being available in a range of highly visible colours, which can also include reflective designs for additional safety after dark, as well as signage for safety, warning and information notices, or advertising and logos.

From a safety perspective, using plastic barriers to control foot flow means there is less potential for pedestrian injury if someone finds themselves caught against it. Plastic barriers are also very durable, which adds to their protective qualities. They can also incorporate anti-trip feet to maximise pedestrian safety. This makes them a particularly convenient option in public spaces used by children, the elderly or those who are disabled.

High-visibility plastic barriers can be particularly useful in guiding footfall around or away from road works or hazards.

Non-slip, secure stacking makes it easy for plastic barriers to be stored and quickly deployed in emergency or ad-hoc situations.

GB2 heavy duty water-filled barrier

Both options can withstand the elements with steel barriers providing durability even in extreme weather and rainfall and both offering some wind resistance, with the option to fill moulded plastic designs with water for added stability.

Should I buy or hire temporary fencing and pedestrian barriers?

When it comes to working out how much you want to spend on temporary fencing or barriers, budget is a key consideration. For one-off, short-term use hiring offers good value for money and you won’t need to budget for maintenance or storage. However, if you are planning a series of events, then buying the fence panels or barriers may be more cost-effective – particularly if you plan to sell advertising space on them to recover your costs.

Whether you decide to hire or buy it’s important to remember that temporary fencing and safety barriers must always be installed in accordance with statutory health and safety regulations. If you hire fencing or barriers then this will all be taken care of by our expert installers but if you choose to buy them your team will need to create a safe and secure boundary that meets national requirements. When making a decision whether to hire or buy you should also factor in the additional insurance and training costs that may be needed to ensure members of your team can safely install and maintain your fencing and barriers, so as to avoid any risk or liability.

SafeSite Facilities offers a wide range of barriers, hoardings and fencing to encourage orderly queuing, prevent unlawful access to secure areas and ensure public safety. Contact us today and speak to one of our advisers about the best option for your event.

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