How the Rainbow Crossings came to be… In early 2019 members of the team at Nottingham City Council decided that for this years’ Nottinghamshire Pride event they wanted to provide the city with a symbol of diversity, inclusion and equality. A symbol to not only be there for the huge event that takes place on Saturday July 27th, but a permanent symbol that could grow and grow.
On Monday 15th July, Hitex International Group members L&R Roadlines and Hitex Traffic Safety teamed up with Nottingham City Council to install four brightly coloured ‘Rainbow Crossings’ in Nottingham City Centre. The locations between Broad Street and Carlton Street will mark the finishing point of the Nottingham Pride Parade and it is hoped that the permanent four crossings will provide a symbol of diversity, inclusion and equality all year round, not just for the event which will take place on Saturday 27th July.
One of the UK’s most trusted road marking and surfacing installers, L&R Roadlines carefully carried out the work in just four hours from start to finish. According to Michael Littleboy, Director at L&R, “With the six brightly coloured stripes needing to line up perfectly, most of the work was done in the planning and marking of the site. Our goal was to get the best finish possible and I think everyone would agree that the rainbow crossings look great. To see members of the public lining up to take pictures with the crossings and some of them even lying down on them was fantastic, we hope they give a sense of inclusion to everyone passing”.
The material used for the rainbow crossings, PumaTrack, has been used on similar projects all over the world. The versatile MMA product, manufactured by Hitex Traffic Safety, is traditionally specified for cycle paths and walkways because of its even, slip resistant finish. However, in this case, the product was used for more specific reasons. Nathan Royds, Development Chemist at Hitex Traffic Safety explained,” Installing an MMA product such as PumaTrack has a significant speed advantage due to the catalyst controlled curing time. We have used PumaTrack in areas such as shopping centres and car parks and indeed situations such as this where the area can be opened up and walked on in less than thirty minutes.” Royds continued, “With PumaTrack we also have the ability to match almost any colour, I have seen bright pinks, greens and all sorts but the colours for the rainbow crossings are always the most fun to produce.”
Above: The L&R Roadlines team at work installing just one of the crossings on Broad Street, Nottingham
Many different departments from Nottingham Council worked to bring the project together as well as sponsors from Robin Hood Energy, Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham Together. Scott McDonald, Senior Highways Officer at Nottingham City Council, whom worked on the project said, “It has been great to see so many members of staff, councillors and sponsors combining to provide our community with a powerful visual reminder of our commitment to inclusion and equality. From helping us in the design stages to the impeccable installation the rainbow crossings, we would like to thank Hitex Traffic Safety and L&R Roadlines for their work on the project from start to finish.”
The ‘rainbow road’ crossings were formally opened ahead of Pride with a ribbon cutting with an abundance of praise from local businesses and residents with the leader of Nottingham City Council telling the press, “It’s ingenious. It has brought people together and also local businesses. It says Nottingham is a place where everyone can live equally. I think the rainbow presents an important symbol in a world where homophobic attacks and hate rhetoric is on the rise. It’s about acknowledging the LGBT+ community.” Dominic Haynes, Group Marketing Manager at Hitex International finally added, “With this project there has been a bit of a ‘buzz’ around the company from start to finish. We have provided the materials for many of these crossings to go down around the world for pride, in airports, city centres and many more. We are excited to be able to help spread these fun symbols of inclusion now in the UK and who knows, could the rainbow crossing be the end of the traditional zebra crossing?”
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