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Tactile Driveway Surfaces

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 8 Jun 2011 | comments*Discuss
 
Tactile Paving Domestic Drivers Blisters

Tactile paving is the name for the special paving with raised textures. You may have seen them at road crossings where there are paving slabs with raised 'blisters' intended to be felt, through the shoes, by people who are unable to see the crossing point.

They are also used in urban developments to create noise and a rough feel to make drivers feel uncomfortable and slow down. It's that second use that is more likely to see them deployed in a domestic setting

Different Types of Tactile Paving

These paving slabs first begun to appear in the 1980s and can be made from concrete, clay or stone. There are two main surface types, rounded blisters or longitudinal ridges and there are strict rules controlling the patterns and measurements as different arrangements mean different things to people who rely on the feel of them through their shoes.

Rounded blisters, either in a grid pattern or sometimes offset, are used to let people know that there is a crossing of some sort. There are also larger, lozenge-shaped blisters that denote the edge of a platform in the street, perhaps a tram stop.

The longitudinal ridge paving blocks that warn of a hazard ahead can be found at the top of a set of steps or the edge of a railway platform. In a different configuration they can indicate a safe path through an open space that doesn't have any obstructions, like seats, lampposts or other street furniture. There is yet another type which is used to separate pedestrian pavements from cycle paths that share the same roadway.

Tactile Paving in a Domestic Setting

Of course, all the uses that have been mentioned so far are going to be in public places for municipal or commercial paving projects. It's unlikely that there would be a need for this sort of paving in a domestic setting unless you happened to have a lot of visually-impaired people visiting. And even then, it wouldn’t be strictly necessary as most of them would be ok once they'd visited for the first time.

The place where tactile paving might well be useful in a domestic setting is for its secondary use, confusing drivers in residential areas. Drivers know the difference between road and pavement and what we have been seeing recently in new estates is hybrid surfaces where it's not completely clear whether a surface is for pedestrians, drivers, or both.

Protect Your Ground with Tactile Paving

This deliberate ploy makes drivers slow down and act more carefully as they aren’t sure exactly what to expect. If you live in an area where parking from other residents and their guests and visitors causes you a problem, you could consider paving your driveway area or turning space with tactile paving.

This will confuse the visitors and make them less likely to overstep the mark if it is clearly laid out. Visitors will also think that it has been put down by the council as it's unusual to see it in a domestic context. And as far as we were able to find out, there's nothing to stop you laying it on your own ground.

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