'safe start' best practice

Quick guides to implement 'safe start' best practice on

Over the coming weeks will continue to evolve to help local authorities, utilities and contractors mange the critical activities of planning, managing and communicating activities on a rapidly changing road network.

Local authorities have a critical role to play in enabling the safe return to a more normal way of life for millions as Covid-19 lockdown measures continue to relax. The Department for Transport (DfT) has issued a radical set of guidelines for local authorities to follow as the nation looks to restart transportation services. With the capacity of public transport greatly reduced to enable social distancing we are experiencing a rapid modal shift to active mobility with walking and cycling critical to keeping our towns and cities moving.

The road network is being reallocated in new ways at an unprecedented rate and it is critical that clarity and quality of communication keeps pace. To help highway authorities plan, manage and communicate their “Safe Start” strategies we are making some changes to

In the first round of changes we have added the ability to plot and add:

  • Cycle lanes (permanent and pop-up)
  • Pedestrian zones and widened footpaths
  • Covid-19 testing stations
  • NHS emergency access routes
  • Covid-19 social distancing signage for traffic management plans 

We are working closely with all the major map and navigation service providers (Google, TomTom, Waze and Here) to ensure this information is communicated accurately in real-time via their services. As you would expect these changes will also be shown on the map, which the industry uses to coordinate works.

We have also introduced an additional website to show only the Covid-19 Safe Start changes across the UK -, which is also available for local authorities to embed in their websites.

You can find a summary of these changes here.

We will be bringing new data into the platform such as pharmacies to ensure key locations can be safeguarded. We will be making it easier to close whole areas of a city with grouped road closures. We will also be adding new ways to customise the information shown on and will be helping utility companies coordinate works by automatically detecting if it will conflict with a Covid-19 Safe Start restriction.

If you have any questions about the changes being made, any suggestions about other things which would help, or you would just like some help with best practice use of, please email


To help implement best practice on, you can find step-by-step guides here:

  • Plotting Covid-19 road changes - click here
  • Plotting Covid-19 testing stations - click here


You can also see an overview of this functionality here: