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London Removals: Moving Out of a Busy Urban Street

As much as we’d like to think pedestrians are mindful of our need to occupy most of the footpath on moving day, the reality is they won’t offer too much respect.
The closer you are to the nucleus of London, the less likely your chances are of commanding a fixed spot on the pavement with enduring authority. In servicing those already made applications to their own proposed move as we speak; why not assume that the removal van is unable to park directly outside. Instead, it will sit further down the footpath, having received permission to park there – something of which we will elaborate on closer to the end of this piece. Let’s suppose the van is now a one minute walk from the house, with ample pavement in between.
We therefore have a situation where we’ll be fending off pedestrians. Occupying the majority of the footpath when moving things such as a mattress isn’t going to sit well with passersby. So herein lies our greatest challenge; soothing the public and minimising hazard.
All types of passersby are likely to appear across the course of the day, from young children prone to running around erratically to local drunk pub-goers insistent on their right of way. Factor in the numerous commuters travelling to work, regardless of the day, and you have a pretty heady concoction already. In covering a further hazard synonymous with weekend moving, let’s not rule out any potential flood of people hurrying by due to a football match – imagine if you were moving out of flat near Holloway Road for example with hordes of Arsenal fans walking past.
Mindful of all these interruptions, you need to cordon off the moving area. But using expansive tape across a large area, inclusive of the distance from house to van, is going to be too much of a diversion for pedestrians expecting to walk past fluently.
Use tall cones to cordon off the area instead, but don’t rely on the moving company to provide them. Buy a set of cheap ones in advance, with a quantity of at least 20. Use only half of the footpath and place the cones down the middle, with enough room between them to ensure pedestrians feel relaxed as they walk past, while still aware of your wish to have them walk around the site. If the footpath is narrow then close it off completely while providing a narrow access way for pedestrians distinguished with cones, of which protrudes onto the road slightly. Only do this however, if the road is wide enough.
It might be added that stretching tape over such a big area could take around 30 minutes to do correctly, while cones only take a matter of minutes to put in place. Furthermore, tape will arouse both a sense of intimidation and unwanted curiosity in pedestrians, with some even pausing to see what’s going on and therefore causing further delays.
Having a friend around on removal day is useful. Task them with directing all traffic exclusively, both in pedestrians and the occasional car that becomes a hazard. Have them verbalise instructions but only where necessary. For example, if someone has clearly taken a hint and is preparing to step around the cones already, there’s no need to guide them. Elderly people, and occasionally mothers with buggies, may however need guidance, especially if you rely on an access way that covers part of the road. Make sure your friend is mobile, instead of standing in a fixed spot, and have them approach the task with little emotion, instead being logical and concise with their instructions. Ensure they are not rude however in their exchanges as any subsequent argument will cause delays.
So a route has been established. Removal workers and helpers alike can follow a defined path. We must however address the final part of making such a journey that of placing items in the removal van. Should our cones go around the parked van on the street, then our pedestrians will have to venture further out into the line of traffic. In this case we need to park the van on the footpath itself, with the final cones wrapping around the front of the vehicle to mark the area’s end.
Contacting the council or relevant body in advance is crucial here however as it may be illegal to park on the footpath. We will nonetheless suppose we have permission to do so after contacting the relevant institution. Moving will therefore be as direct as possible. The one thing we must finally do in this case is have a person posted to monitor the back of the van exclusively. All removal workers will be busy shifting items, so have a willing friend prevent any potential theft from pedestrians.
Moving out of the city isn’t always pretty but with a plan like that outlined above, it can certainly work easily enough.
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