Does the interchange meet with all emergency and security requirements?

All interchange facilities should be designed and operated to be fully compliant with all fire, safety and security regulations.

Emergency procedures and an emergency management plan should be agreed between all interchange zone stakeholders and with the emergency services. These procedures should be included in all training modules for staff.

Have potential hazards been minimised?

Interchange planners, designers and operators must identify potential hazards within the interchange zone and address them. In particular, the following hazards should be avoided:

  • Uneven or loose surfaces
  • Slippery surfaces, especially when wet (polished floors are particularly bad slip hazards)
  • Trip hazards and obstacles
  • Sharp or protruding items
  • Steep gradients
  • Low ceilings or low-hanging fixtures
  • Undefined glass walls and doors
  • Temporary information boards
  • Poor lighting
  • Conflict with vehicles in shared-use areas

Most hazards can be avoided by them being designed-out when interchange zones are planned or upgraded; under no circumstances should design compromise safety of passengers or staff.

Features which could reduce the frequency of accidents should be provided, such as hand rails. Elsewhere, management plans and maintenance regimes should consider how hazards can be avoided and, as and when they do occur, be removed as quickly as possible.

Are locations where passengers and vehicles meet safe?

At all interchange zones there are locations where passengers and vehicles may come into conflict - platform edges, bus stops and taxi ranks. Within the interchange zone pedestrians may also come into conflict with general traffic on street and at pedestrian crossings, or with bicycles.

Where conflict may regularly occur, surface treatments should be used to inform passengers of the possible presence of vehicles in that area, and ensure clarity on who has priority of movement to all users of that space. Signage should only be used as a last resort where demarcation through design is considered insufficient.

The boundaries between spaces for different uses should be clearly indicated and readily understandable through the use of visual clues and information, tactile materials and audio signalling. Pedestrian and cycle routes must follow natural desire lines in order to minimise the number of passengers who may choose a quicker, more informal, route over a safer one.

"Speed limits should be low"

Speed limits for vehicles should be low in areas where conflict with pedestrians is highest. In the case of large bus stations where there are high numbers of boarding or alighting passengers it may be appropriate to physically segregate passengers from vehicles providing access only when vehicles are stationary.

Where cyclists share entrances, exits or car parks with motor vehicles, appropriate safety measures should be introduced. This might include clear demarcation of cycle routes, low speed limits, cycle priority measures at entrances/exits.

If significant numbers of passengers have to cross a road to transfer between services, signal-controlled pedestrian crossings should be provided and clearly signed. Where it is necessary to physically segregate pedestrians from road vehicles, features such as bench seating or planting should be considered instead of guard rails which can emphasise perceptions of severance and can encourage different users to behave without regard to others.

Case study examples