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London County Hall Estates

To advise London County Hall Estates on Operational Planning

Background

London County Hall is one of the city’s iconic landmarks, fast becoming a key hub for entertainment and leisure in the capital. Originally opened in 1922 as the headquarters of London County Council and subsequently home to the Greater London Council, today it attracts over 17 million visitors each year.

Pioneering better attractions

London County Hall Estates

Location:
London

Client:
County Hall Estates

Year:
2014

Brief

Movement Strategies was engaged as specialist people movement advisors to support the management and landscape plans of Queen’s Walk by identifying its spatial constraints, determining its ‘comfortable’ and ‘safe’ capacity both in terms of population and throughput, and reviewing the management of County Hall’s attractions’ entrances and exits.

What we did

By considering the Queen’s Walk as a combination of circulation and dwelling areas we were able to interrogate the capacity requirements of the space in a structured manner. We broke down each area and attributed minimum space requirements according to its function and demand that would be accommodated.

We also considered the potential for dynamic monitoring of the space, demonstrating how new technology could support more efficient management of the space. 

We developed an evidence-based approach to the study through the collection of visitor movement data in order to ensure that all of our spatial design & operational and planning advice was robust and proven to work in practice.
Key services included:

  • Data collection study (video survey and on-site observations) to deliver an evidence base of actual visitor behaviours and circulation patterns, for example flow variations across the day and week;
  • Spatial analysis to review the physical constraints of the site and understand how the different venues and attractions interact with each other;
  • Visitor behavioural analysis and key attraction operational review;
  • Capacity review of Queen’s Walk based on Transport for London Pedestrian Level of Comfort standards.      

The Results

The evidence provided by the study informed the Management Plan for the Queen’s Walk and County Hall’s attractions’ entry/exit process, and crucially ensured the buy-in of individual attraction managers/tenants. Our detailed design and management recommendations now inform the design and implementation of potential physical interventions (for example construction and maintenance work, changes in tenancies, and so on) and form the basis of the CCTV monitoring of crowds at peak times.

An important consequence has been a shift in how the security team monitors Queen’s Walk, taking a pro-active management approach to ensure that the thoroughfare does not reach an unsafe level of crowding.