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

Paul Lipscombe
August 22, 2019

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.

Along 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.”

Demographics

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).

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