Rebuilding trust: The importance of hygiene boosting design

The COVID 19 pandemic has had an adverse effect on perceptions concerning all facets of society, with public transport, and particularly the rail industry, being no exception. As we can now see a light at the end of the tunnel, the challenge facing rail providers is re-building confidence in the safety of the services they offer. Jemma Masters, our Transport Marketing Manager at Forbo Flooring Systems explains more here.

Data collected by Moovit suggests that, as of March 2021, public transit usage across the UK, as a whole, is down by an average of 48%. Rail transportation has seen a huge falloff in passenger numbers, with a report from the ORR stating that in Q3 of last year, only 140 million passengers were recorded – just 30% of the previous year’s Q3 figure, 463 million. Whilst figures are slowly rising towards pre-pandemic levels, a recent report published by ING warned that it could take several years to fully recover former passenger numbers and that they are expected to remain out of sight for 2021. The question is then, how do rail providers re-capture public trust in their services and accelerate this process?

Marmoleum FR2
Marmoleum FR2

Already we have seen rail providers implement improved and more regular cleaning and maintenance schedules, as well as attempting to increase ventilation on board their vehicles. However, these relatively ‘surface’ strategies on their own may not be enough.

Choosing hygienic floor coverings is one important way that providers can help reduce the development and spread of harmful bacteria and viruses.

For example, our Marmoleum FR2 range is a linoleum floor covering, manufactured using a high percentage of natural raw materials and recycled content, it offers a sustainable solution to interior rail transport design. Marmoleum FR2 is naturally bacteriostatic, meaning it actively prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. In fact, it has been independently proven to supress the spread and growth of numerous infections, including MRSA, Norovirus and C Difficile. Active from the point of installation, this natural defence will not diminish in quality over time. This protection against harmful bacteria and viruses does not come at the expense of its durability either. All products within the Marmoleum FR2 range come equipped with Topshield2, a UV-cured finish that reduces scratch and scuff damage, ensuring long lasting appearance retention. Hygienic, sustainable, and durable, the Marmoleum FR2 range ticks all the boxes for progressive interior design.

Another example is our Flotex FR flooring. Thanks to its unique construction, Flotex FR is one of the world’s most hygienic textile floor coverings available on the market. Containing 70 million upright fibres per m2, Flotex FR is exceptional at capturing fine dust particles and allergens in the air, significantly improving the air quality within rail vehicles. It is important that Flotex FR is cleaned and maintained properly and thankfully it possesses many cleaning properties that makes this process easy. Vacuuming Flotex FR removes twice as many allergens than conventional carpet, as its design allows it to be cleaned down to the base of the pile. This is just one of the reasons why the range was awarded the prestigious Allergy UK Seal of Approval.

Flotex FR

Flotex FR can be washed using a vast range of cleaning products and even supports mechanical wet cleaning, for more periodic cleaning regimes. Importantly, Flotex FR is fast drying, maximising the efficiency of the cleaning process. When tested against six other carpet constructions, Flotex FR far outperformed its competition, having only 0.57% moisture remaining two hours following cleaning.

The pandemic has dramatically altered the way we have lived our lives for over a year, but it will also change how we act moving forward. Improving levels of hygiene has become the chief demand, therefore it is imperative that every opportunity to embrace better hygiene is taken. Our Marmoleum FR2 and Flotex FR ranges are exceptional choices for implementing more hygienic flooring within your rail vehicles. With each offering its own individual benefits, both will ensure your customers stay as happy and healthy as possible.

To find out more information about our Marmoleum FR2 and Flotex FR ranges, please visit our website, here: https://www.forbo.com/flooring/en-gl/products/transport-flooring/rail-floor-wall-coverings/be8oz8

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