The Sports Ground Safety Authority has now published the long-awaited new edition of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds, also known as the Green Guide and within the 'Spectator Accommodation - Seating' section of the Guide there is, for the first time, a sub-section on what the SGSA call 'seats incorporating barriers' and 'seats with independent barriers'.

Rail seats officially allowed

Following publication of the Guide, the SGSA has also confirmed that it is possible, subject to certain provisos, e.g. Safety Advisory Group approval and an agreed management plan for the area concerned, for grounds that include seats incorporating barriers within their provision of exclusively seated accommodation to be licensed as compliant with the all-seater policy.

This gives all clubs with all-seater stadia the opportunity to enhance spectator safety in this way in areas of their ground where more active supporters are inclined to stay on their feet throughout extended moments of excitement, rather than sit passively in their seat for the full 90 minutes.

It also enables clubs to get such areas of their grounds ready to be operated formally as standing areas as and when government policy allows and ready to take advantage of any future potential for increasing capacity in such areas (as illustrated below).


In addition to these opportunities, there are, however, also risks. In some scenarios it is possible that capacity will be reduced.

The document linked to below sets out to explain and illustrate these opportunities and risks:

Seating incorporating barriers - Implications of new safety guidelines