By far the most annoying thing about Christmas shopping is the other Christmas shoppers. Carrying all those bulky shopping bags and trying to remember who else you need to buy for is hastle enough without having to face everyone else doing the exactly same thing at the exact same time, only slower, and inevitably in your way.
It’s not always their fault. They might simply be inclined towards a different walking pace than you. Or maybe they’re struggling under the weight of their own shopping and weren’t able to move out of your way in time. However, most often the instigators of high street traffic chaos are the ones with little awareness of other shoppers; the ones who text while they walk; the ones whose golf umbrellas will take your eye out; the ones who suddenly decide to stop dead right in front of you for no apparent reason. Up until now there seemed to be no way to alleviate this problem, but for one week the city of Liverpool will be testing a new idea that might clear the way for speedy walkers. Their idea: Fast-walking pedestrian lanes.
The fast lanes have been created by Argos and will trial for one week at the Liverpool One shopping complex. The idea arose from new research which shows that 31% of people are frustrated by pavement hoggers, while 27% get annoyed by slow pedestrians.
Dr Alastair Moore, an independent retail expert, said: ‘Perusing the high street is one of my favourite past times but I do have my own shopping bugbears, from middle of the street chattering to battling through the crowds.
‘As the research demonstrates, a faster high street could vastly improve the overall shopping experience for British shoppers across the UK. The pedestrianised 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.’
While the citizens of Liverpool hope to get their shopping done in record time during the coming week, the rest of us will be watching on with keen interest. As the season of Christmas shopping looms, the pedestrian fast-track might be just the answer we need to make the whole thing bearable.