Ultimate Guide to queuing barriers 2022

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Welcome to our ultimate guide on queuing barriers, designed to help you find the right barrier for your company or organisation.

Inventors of the original retractable queue barriers

At Tensator, we are the inventors of the original retractable barrier. Our barrier systems allow you to enhance your space with one of the safest barriers on the market.

Image shows the history of Tensabarrier

Image shows the history of Tensabarrier


What is a queue barrier?

Queue barriers are a key way to maintain efficient, effective pedestrian flow and implement social distancing across a wide range of environments and industries, from hotels to hospitals, shops, airports and more.

So queue barrier systems should form an essential part of any health and safety strategy for a business that comes into regular contact with public members.

Why should you use queue barriers?

Queuing barriers come in various shapes and styles from models with retractable belts and café barriers to rope barriers. Each queue barrier system has its own purpose including:

  • Direct people where you want them to go and stop them from wandering off in different directions or all over your site

  • Keep checkout queues lines orderly and structured

  • Keep customers away from out-of-bounds areas of your site

  • Can be used to rope off VIP areas of a nightclub, bar, red-carpet event or premiere, thus creating an exclusive feel

  • Keep members of the public from touching things you don’t want them to touch in a museum, gallery  or stately home

  • Prevent accidents, such as trip-and-slip falls after you’ve just mopped a floor by cordoning off potentially hazardous areas

  • Rope barriers can provide an event or venue with a classy, glamorous feel

  • Help with crowd control to avoid overcrowding at busy events

Barriers in an Airport

Barriers in an Airport


What are the advantages of queue barriers?

There are many benefits, on top of the ones mentioned above, such as queue management and controlling customer flow with simple crowd control. Quality barrier systems also give a place a smart, professional look which people will take away with them. (Straggly queue lines certainly won’t do that.)

Retractable belt barriers are hugely versatile

What’s more, retractable barriers and so on are hugely versatile and flexible, so they suit both outdoor and indoor environments. Queue barriers can be reconfigured at a moment’s notice, plus they’re extremely easy to set up, clean, reposition and carry around, as you need to.

They seriously improve waiting times

And because queues are far more organised and structured with a belt system or similar barrier in place, you’ll seriously improve waiting times, in turn improving the way customers feel about their experience with you.

Barriers help keep queues flowing

Barriers help keep queues flowing


You can add your own branding

What’s more, some models can also incorporate your branding with your own logo or name on the webbing.

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Types of queue barriers

An extensive range of retractable barriers and other queue barriers are available from Tensator including:

Post and rope barriers

A rope barrier system comprises velour or braided cords attached to posts (or stanchions) or the wall. They’re highly portable, and an ideal choice for situations where you need an upmarket, elegant-looking solution – for example for creating VIP areas in a classy nightclub or the launch of an upscale shop or boutique. Post and rope barriers are certainly a less industrial form of queue management than, retractable queue barriers.

Lawrence Posts and Rope Barrier

Lawrence Posts and Rope Barrier


Create a feeling of glamour

The idea behind these models is that they create a feeling of glamour, exclusivity and luxury for premises or events. But they suit many different indoor environments, from hotels to restaurants, clubs, bars, banks and museums.

Protecting paintings or other exhibits

Use them to protect a particular painting or other exhibits that you don’t want anyone touching.

Choice of high-quality finishes

You get a choice of high-quality finishes and colours with rope systems, including smart blue, red and black, plus rope barriers come with easy ‘clip-on’ hooks plus a weighted base. Combined, the various parts create a product that is as sophisticated as it is functional.

Choice of rope lengths

Ropes are either braided or velour for an elegant, velvet-like appearance and what’s more, you get plenty of choice when it comes to rope length, too.

Rope barriers are particularly easy to set up and dismantle for outdoor and indoor use. You also have the option to hook one end of the rope into a wall rather than a second stanchion.

Rope barriers from Tensator

At Tensator we stock rope and pole barriers from Lawrence Metal and QueueWay. Ropes are available in either 1 or 2-meter lengths and in a variety of colours.

Lightweight and durable

These are lightweight solutions and easy to set up and take down again as required. The different styles to choose from include classic, contemporary and sphere models, whose stanchions are topped with a ball.

Retractable belt barriers

Popular and more affordable than you may have realised, retractable barriers are suitable for many different businesses, leisure and public transport settings. You’ll no doubt have seen these solutions yourself anywhere crowds or queues need to be controlled, from gigs to post offices.

Tensabarrier Retractable Belt Twin Pack

Tensabarrier Retractable Belt Twin Pack

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Barriers that maximise the use of space

Retractable barriers can be packed away and removed as quickly as you deploy them. These systems maximise the use of space, yet in a short period of time, you can use them to cover a large area and create an efficient pedestrian traffic control solution.

Tensabarrier Rollabarrier - stacks for easy storage

Tensabarrier Rollabarrier – stacks for easy storage


Uses for Retractable Barrier System

  • Queue control: Belt barriers are the ideal choice for this function. And you can reconfigure these solutions with different numbers of posts depending on how many people are in the queue. Locations, where retractable barriers are especially useful, include airports, cinemas, libraries, schools and lobby security areas, among numerous other venues.

  • Closing off an area: Use retractable belt barriers if you want to close off a section of space or stop any member of the public from coming into physical contact with something on display.

  • Creating a walkway: A retractable belt is a firm favourite with anyone wanting a clear walkway through a room.

  • Create an exclusion zone: Retractable barrier posts can be used to create an exclusion zone – for example for a construction business which needs to prevent access to some of its sites for safety reasons.

Inventors of the world-famous Tensabarrier®

We at Tensator are the inventors of the original, market-leading Tensabarrier® retractable queue barriers. A barrier system which stands out because of our unique safety features including a braking system for slower webbing retraction. Meanwhile, the webbing is made from military-grade fabric. Making our barriers considerably safer than comparable products from our competitors, plus they’re far less likely to suffer wear-and-tear over time.

So many Tensabarrier's have been sold we could form a queue around the moon.

So many Tensabarrier’s have been sold we could form a queue around the moon.


Our posts are not easy to push over

What’s more, the posts themselves are designed to be incredibly sturdy, so they can’t easily be pushed over. (In the trade this is known as the ‘topple angle’, and with the Tensabarrier® it’s an industry-beating more than 30º.)

Buy direct and get a 2-year warranty

Finally, all our products come with a two-year warranty, giving our customers great peace of mind.

Tensabarrier Online Shop Exclusive

The Tensabarrier twin pack consists of two sturdy retractable barrier posts with durable cast iron bases with the lowest leading edge on the market, helping to assure accessibility for all.

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Tensabarrier posts only £60 per barrier*

The twin pack comes with a belt length of 3.65m. The retractable belts are available in a selection of colours for high visibility. This Tensator online exclusive is £120 excluding VAT which equates to only £60 per post!

Cafe queue barrier systems

Designed for outdoor and indoor use, cafe barriers are outdoor displays typically comprising stainless steel posts with heavyweight bases. Metal rails go between the posts, and then you can hang high-quality fabric printed banners between them. Plus you can fit A4 sign holders displaying your menu or promoting any special offers on the cafe barriers.

Tensator Cafe Banner

Tensator Cafe Banner


Establish outdoor al fresco dining and drinking areas

If you’re a company in the hospitality business, you’d take delivery of cafe barriers to give yourself the ability to establish outdoor al fresco dining and drinking areas (temporary ones if necessary), outdoor café areas, and smoking spots and to provide queue management solutions.    

Perfect for busy town or city-centre areas

What’s more, because they’re so easy to put up and then take down again, cafe barriers are perfect for busy town or city-centre areas. When they work correctly, these barriers create a relaxed, comfortable outside dining and drinking area. A queue barrier provides a highly effective queuing system for outdoor nightclubs and bars which don’t involve spending huge amounts of money.

Tensator Cafe Barrier Banner – Starter Kit

Our Cafe Banner Starter Kit is available with chrome or stainless steel posts. The banners can be either PVC or mesh – which is particularly useful for windy outside areas. Select your banner colour from blue, green, red or black. Ideal for creating a physical barrier between the pavement and the street. Our price for the starter kit is £449 excluding VAT plus free delivery.

Wall-mounted queue barriers

Wall-mounted retractable barriers are among the most practical, space-saving crowd-control systems you’ll find on today’s market, and they suit an extensive range of venues and events. Enabling you to connect a retractable belt between a stanchion post and wall bracket, or between two wall brackets.

Tensabarrier Wall Mount

Tensabarrier Wall Mount


Quickly cordon off hazardous areas

Wall-mounted barriers are used to control crowds, engineer people flow and to enhance safety, for example at a building site. However, they also suit warehousing and factories, shopping centres, hospitals, airports and entertainment venues plus numerous other locations, including high-traffic areas where you may want to cordon off areas to restrict access.

Again, you can use them to enhance social distancing where this is required. Or you can use them to convey a safety message or branded graphics.

Choose either 7.7 or 9-meter lengths

These wall units come with multiple belt lengths plus they’re very efficient when it comes to taking up minimal space. It’s true that they don’t look quite as glamorous as the post and rope solutions, but they still look smart, and they’re highly practical and functional for myriad different situations.

Tensabarrier Wall Mount Barriers

Our wall-mounted barriers come in a range of colours and your branding can be printed on the webbing. You can choose from a variety of colours for both the housing and webbing.

A patented braking system helps make them the safest on the market

The patented braking systems on these queue barriers mean that the webbing belt drops to the floor on release, before retracting slowly back into the stanchion or pole. At the same time, an anti-tamper tape end prevents the webbing belt from accidentally coming away from the post.

The Tensabarrier Patented Cassette

The Tensabarrier Patented Cassette


Not all retractable barriers are made equal – watch the video below

Queue management systems from Tensator

Whichever of the above barriers you want, we at Tensator can help – and we always have an extensive range of queue barriers in stock. Buy from us directly for a quick, easy and straightforward checkout process.

Buy direct and save

Buying this way also give you the advantage of having direct access to our wide-ranging industry expertise and knowledge, built up over many years in the sector. So for example you can chat to one of our barrier specialists about which of our solutions might suit a particular venue or event.

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Buy Once and Buy Direct From Tensator

We’re a one-stop shop for all your queue barrier requirements, so we’ll be delighted to run through your checklist of what you need for your business. What’s more, we stock the full line-up of signage and barrier accessories, so you can buy everything you need under one virtual roof.

Plus you’ll get FREE delivery

Search our website, select your products, enter your company details and then checkout online. We offer completely free next-day delivery on all our queue barrier products, making ordering from us excellent value. We offer a free 2-year warranty across the full range of queue barrier products.

Leave it with the experts

Let us take care of queue management and crowd control, giving you one less thing to worry about and allowing you to focus on what you do best – running your organisation.

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