For many years TMS have been involved in carrying out Road Safety Audits on almost 100 new McDonald’s sites throughout the UK, for one of our most long-standing clients. Typically, the schemes involve Drive Thru restaurants which are often located on the edge of busy town and city retail and leisure complexes. They are ideally situated to serve the visitors to the retail/leisure parks and nearby town and city centres, as well as being convenient to the surrounding residential catchment and busy road network.
Over the past two decades, we have seen a big increase in the number of new retail and leisure parks being built, together with huge expansions of existing complexes. As a result, pushing the demand for convenient restaurant and food outlets such as McDonald’s to support this growth, subsequently increasing the requirement for Road Safety Audits by Local Highway Authorities. As a company, we have also seen an increase in demand for Road Safety Audits on the likes of Costa Coffee and Starbucks Drive-Thru schemes.
Currently within the UK there are approximately 1,400 McDonalds restaurants. McDonalds has over 36,000 restaurants in the world, operating in over 100 countries and territories. There are approximately 120,000 people employed by McDonalds UK and over one million worldwide. McDonalds are looking to open 300 new restaurants over the next 10 years, reinforcing their drive and commitment for growth across the globe.
Some of the proposed McDonald’s restaurants are developed on vacant, derelict or disused retail/warehouse sites and can often involve the demolition of existing buildings to facilitate the installation of the Restaurant and Drive Thru lanes. In turn, improvements and changes often need to be made to the public highway to allow for such developments to be built, which prompts the requirement for a Road Safety Audit. For commercial schemes of this nature, our auditors would typically review the proposed highway design to allow for the:
Provision of a new access and/or service access or the forming of a new junction and closing of an existing junction
Widening of existing access/egress
Realignment of tactile paving crossing point / upgrade of existing tactile paving within the vicinity
Upgrade of traffic signal crossings
Upgrade of existing pedestrian crossings
Widening of service road to accommodate two-way traffic
Provision of a new pedestrian refuge island
Provision of new roundabout arms to lead to a new restaurant and/or other future developments
Kerbing – installation of full height kerbing including dropped kerbs
Reinstatement of footways
Proposals for a left-out only exit and a left-in only
Widening of the carriageway to accommodate a new ghosted right turn lane
TMS are often commissioned to carry out Road Safety Audits at varying stages of the design and construction process. For some McDonald’s sites, we have audited the scheme at every stage, from the pre-planning application (Stage 1) right through to the restaurant being built and open to the public (Stage 3). In some cases, we have been asked to carry out Stage 4 Post Opening Monitoring audits where there have been issues with high volume traffic and vehicle/pedestrian conflicts within the vicinity of the restaurant and surrounding area.
Our audit teams have carried out site visits at every corner of the United Kingdom from Bridgwater to Kent to Enniskillen, Fife, Swansea and everywhere in between.
From a road safety audit point of view, it is great to see our clients incorporating the findings from the design stage road safety audit reports, which in turn allows them to build a safe, cohesive environment for their customers and all visitors to the restaurants.