• Tim Cosgrove

AO Mobile installs first UK ‘slow lane’ for distracted walkers

Apart from just bumping into people, 29 per cent of Brits said they have bumped into a lamppost

The UK’s first mobile phone ‘slow lane’ has been installed in Manchester after research revealed how careless Brits are when walking with their mobile.

Research found 96 per cent of Brits have experienced someone walking and not paying attention because they were too busy looking at their phone, in the last year.

In total 1,500 people were surveyed with the research conducted by 3GEM Research and Insights.

The trial sees two adjacent 75-metre long (247ft) mobile safe lanes installed along Hardman Boulevard in the Spinningfields district, in what is thought to be the first of its kind in Europe.

long the lanes are arrows and signs that mark out the separate walking lanes on the pavement exclusively for slow-walking smartphone users.

In total three-quarters of Brits (75 per cent) said they are guilty walking and using their phone at the same time.

The startling findings has led 19 per cent of respondents to believe the government and local councils should step-in or provide proper guidelines.

AO Mobile MD Richard Baxendale said: “We have to be realistic and responsible when it comes to the way society is changing. Our research found Brits being distracted by technology when walking is becoming an issue people want tackled.

“Our trial slow lane is an important step that may well be adopted by other cities in the future.”


The study also found that females are slightly more prone to ‘distracted walking’ with 79 per cent claiming to have nearly bumped into someone or something in the past six months while texting. For males this figure was 69 per cent.

Unsurprisingly the younger demographic of 18 to 24 year olds admitted to walking and using their handset the most, while the over 65 age group recorded the lowest amount at 42 per cent.

Mancunians are the worst offenders for careless walking with 91 per cent saying they regularly walk and look at their phone.

Manchester pips both Glasgow and Oxford with 89 per cent, while Liverpool and London (both 84pc) and Cardiff (82pc) and Coventry (81pc) follow close behind.

However out of all the cities, Durham (55pc) was the ‘safest’, followed by Leicester (59pc) and Middlesbrough (60pc).

Source: Paul Lipscombe. Mobile News

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