Originally developed in Japan, tactile paving is now used around the world as a means of conveying important safety information to the visually impaired about their immediate environment.
Most tactile paving is in the form of concrete flags that conform to the manufacturing standards set out in BS EN 1339.
Surface-mounted tiles that are stuck to the pavement are an alternative.
There are six standard patterns.
• Blister paving denotes a road crossing place with a dropped kerb.
• Offset blister paving indicates a platform edge in an off-street location, such as a railway station.
• Lozenge paving is used to indicate a platform edge in an on-street location, such as a tram stop.
• Hazard warning paving denotes a hazard, such as the top of a flight of stairs.
• Cycleway paving indicates the beginning of a shared cycle / pedestrian route, and indicates which lane each should use.
• Directional guidance paving indicates the safest direction of travel.