In the mid 1960’s, Japanese engineer Seiichi Miyake introduced tactile paving to the world to help visually impaired pedestrians navigate around busy, potentially hazardous environments.

Tactile paving is designed to incorporate individual raised shapes that can be easily recognised by those who encounter the surface, and has become a common fixture in a variety of highly popular worldwide public environments.

However, were you aware that there are different types of tactile surface indicators? Well in the latest Polydeck blog post, we explore these different tactile paving indicators in more detail, and provide you with information on how Polydeck can help your keep public areas safe.

How many tactile indicators are there?

All forms of tactile surfaces exist to provide a safer environment for visually impaired or completely blind civilians, by changing the textural surface of the ground to notify these walkers of nearby potential urban hazards.

However, not all forms of tactile paving surfaces serve the exact same purpose, as there are three different tactile indicators that you should be aware of.

Warning Tactile Indicators

Warning tactile indicators are also commonly referred to as ‘hazard tactiles’ or ‘decision tactiles’ and consist of a raised grid pattern of studs to inform the visually impaired of nearby hazards.

The prior aim of warning tactile indicators is to make visually impaired walkers reconsider their line of travel before continuing further, to ensure that they avoid any potentially hazardous situations. Warning tactile surfaces do not provide an indication as to what the hazard is, however, common examples of these hazards include:

  • The foot of a ramp
  • A railway crossing
  • The top of a stairwell
  • The bottom of a stairwell
  • Areas where pedestrians could unintendedly walk on a railway platform
  • Where a path joins a shared route

Directional/Guidance Tactile Indicators

Directional tactile indicators are designed to provide walking surfaces with a series of raised bars, which are specifically orientated to guide visually impaired walkers down the safest possible route.

Directional tactile indicators are most useful when more traditional indicators – such as the kerb edge or property line – are non-existent. Directional tactile paving can also be useful when visually impaired civilians need to be guided around common urban obstacles such as lampposts and bins, and when guiding pedestrians to specific locations.

Cycleway Tactile Paving Indicators

The final tactile paving indicator comprises continuous flat-topped bars, which have the sole purpose of advising visually impaired pedestrians on how to navigate pavements that include cycle ways.

Cycle way tactile indicators are used on any shared route where there is no physical separation between the cycle track and footpath, and will also guide the visually impaired onto the correct side of the pavement.

Not sure which indicator your premises needs? Speak to Polydeck

At Polydeck, we are proud to keep areas up and down the UK safe with our GRIPFAST Corduroy Tactiles. All our tactile surfaces fully comply with the Disability Discrimination Act and Part M of the Building Regulations, and convey the message ‘proceed with caution’ for added safety.

In addition to this, our tactile surfaces are manufactured from high quality glass reinforced polyester and designed with near diamond hard aggregate. This means that the tactile paving that we offer has a highly effective non-slip surface, as well as a long lifespan for peace of mind.

On top of this, the tactile paving that we offer at Polydeck is ideal for being placed at the top/bottom of a flight of stairs and is available in a wide range of colours.

For more information on our highly popular GRIPFAST Corduroy Tactiles, head over to our tactile surfaces page today.