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Safer Space Planters installed on Orpington High Street

Added on: 15th October, 2020 by O1

Safer Space Planters installed on Orpington High Street

Last Updated:
Mon, 19 October 2020

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Safer Space Planters have been installed across Orpington high street providing a welcome improvement, practically and aesthetically, on the red and white barriers.

As part of the local covid-19 response, the red and white barriers were brought in by the local authority to enable pedestrians to maintain social distancing, particularly in areas where hospitality businesses require outdoor seating to maximise their revenue.

The new Safer Space Planters have been obtained using the government’s Reopening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF) which is providing £50 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to councils across England to support the safe reopening of high streets.

Orpington 1st Business Improvement District (BID) sourced the planters and worked with suppliers to install them, adding attractive and low maintenance evergreen plants for the months ahead.

The BID also worked with the council to minimise the impact to motorists. Just 4 bays across the high street have been utilised to create wider pedestrian areas, which represents under 2% of the on-street parking in the town centre. The importance of retaining loading provision was emphasised, so although 2 bays have been shortened none have been removed.

Reflective strips have been added to the roadside of the planters to increase their visibility to motorists as the nights draw in.

Orpington 1st Executive Director, Sharon Baldwin, said “The Safer Space Planters have received a warm welcome from businesses and residents. The business community is always looking at ways in which to create a more welcoming environment, so we are delighted to have worked with the London Borough of Bromley on our latest efforts to green the town. The added height of the planters creates a safer space to enable confident social distancing and we’d like to thank residents for continuing to adhere to government guidelines and supporting the local economy.”

Comments (9)

Rate +2

Orpington 1st - 13 Nov, 2020 - 14:12PM

Hi Jules.

There's certainly no campaign against car users in Orpington. As the article says (the bit you quoted), just 4 parking bays across the high street have been utilised to create wider pedestrian areas - to enable shoppers to come into town and maintain social distancing, regardless of how they arrived in town. All part of the local response to the covid-19. The bays utliised represent under 2% of on-street parking and an even tinier fraction of town centre parking overall, so don't worry, it's not preventing taxes being paid.

Best wishes,


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Rate -2

Jules - 13 Nov, 2020 - 13:37PM

"Just 4 bays across the high street have been utilised to create wider pedestrian areas,"
It seems a lot more than that.
(I'll have to count them next time I visit.)

The planters may be more attractive than the red & white plastic things, but I hope this isn't part of the campaign by some against car users.

It may be that the majority of Orpington shoppers walk. (I doubt it.)
Local shoppers might spend enough so shopkeepers can pay the rent.
But without shoppers from further away, shopkeepers won't earn enough to pay the staff, make a profit and pay taxes !

Hopefully when the economy recovers, those 4 parking bays can be returned.

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Rate +6

Paul - 27 Oct, 2020 - 16:15PM

These look really good, massive improvement. Hopefully the council will work out a location for a temporary stop whilst the building is taking place.

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Rate +1

Norma Hiskey - 27 Oct, 2020 - 15:10PM

I am so pleased that the closure of the bus stop outside the Walnuts is only temporary. It is a long way to have to carry heavy shopping from, say, Iceland, to the next bus stop - especially for elderly people. I hope this will be reinstated as soon as is safely possible.

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Rate +7

Jim Goode - 21 Oct, 2020 - 07:56AM

Looks great. Really positive impact to our high street environment.

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Rate +8

Orpington 1st - 19 Oct, 2020 - 12:06PM

Good morning, Susan.

Thanks for getting in touch.

The bus stop outside the Walnuts Shopping Centre was closed by Bromley Council due to the demolition and redevelopment at the former Edinburgh Woolen Mill site. The hoarding installed at the site compromised the safety of bus passenegers and prohibited effective social distancing.

We have been in contact with the council regarding this, pointing out that it is a very well used site in a key location. As soon as it's safe to do so, the stop will be reinstated. In the meantime, we have asked whether a temporary stop could be created nearby.

As red and white barriers were used to section off the bus stop once it was closed, we felt that the Safer Space Planters would be an improved solution.

Best wishes.


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Rate +6

Orpington 1st - 19 Oct, 2020 - 12:01PM

Glad you're enjoying them, Jane.

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Rate 0

Susan - 19 Oct, 2020 - 11:58AM

Like the planters, but why put them in place of the busiest bus stop in the High Street? Now people have to alight at Church Hill or War memorial - both of which mean a longer walk for many older folk to the main walnuts area.

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Rate +8

Jane Shergold - 19 Oct, 2020 - 11:41AM

They look wonderful, thank you!

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