In what appears to be an ingenious idea, the United Kingdom has opened its first ever fast-pedestrian lane in Liverpool city center. The opening of the speedy lane follows research conducted by the company, Argos, that indicated just about one-half of the country believes slow walking is the most troublesome and annoying aspect of street shopping. Speedy shoppers now will no longer have to get stuck behind slow strollers - at least while the program is tested.
Beginning on Monday, the fast lanes opened for a one-week period on St. John Street and will allow its users to zip through the three-story Liverpool One shopping center.
Argos’ research found that the country’s top ten reasons people dislike shopping on city streets is due to the following: Pavement hoggers; Dawdling pedestrians; Battling through crowds; Carrying heavy shopping bags; Middle of the street chattering; People checking their phones; Traffic dodging; Navigating huge stores; Waiting in lines and; Rude staff.
The country hopes to at least address the issues related to slow walkers.
Not surprisingly, the idea of speedy pedestrian lanes is more popular with younger shoppers than older ones, as almost 70% of the 16 to 24 year-olds questioned favored the idea of fast lanes, while less than 40% of 55+ citizens supported the plan. All in all, 28.8 million Britons said they would like a pedestrian fast lane installed in their local busy streets to ensure less time is spent navigating the crowds.
An independent retail expert, Dr. Alastair Moore, observed that, “Perusing the high street is one of my favorite past times but I do have my own shopping bugbears, from middle of the street chattering to battling through the crowds.” She added that, “As the research demonstrates, a faster high street could vastly improve the overall shopping experience for British shoppers across the UK.”
She pointed out that, “The pedestrianized fast track lane is a great way of making this possible and with nearly 30 million Brits saying they’d like one on their own high street, the pilot is set to be a success.”
Andy Brown, central operations director at Argos, stated that, “Shoppers have also told us that speed is critical when simply getting around the high street or town center, so we want to test consumer reaction to a dedicated pavement fast lane. We hope it alleviates some of the biggest shopping high street frustrations.”