Last edited 11 Dec 2020

Travel distance

According to Approved Document B of the Building Regulations, 'Fire Safety', 'travel distance' (unless otherwise specified, e.g. as in the case of flats) is:

'The distance that a person would travel from any point within the floor area to the nearest storey exit, determined by the layout of walls, partitions and fittings.'

Where a storey exit is 'A final exit, or a doorway that gives direct access into a protected stairway, firefighting lobby or external escape route.'

The ‘travel distance’ is measured by way of the shortest route which if:

  • there is fixed seating or other fixed obstructions, is along the centre line of the seatways and gangways;
  • it includes a stair, is along the pitch line on the centre line of travel.

Where the internal layout of internal partitions, fittings etc. is not known when a building regulations application is made, direct distances may be used to assess travel distances, where the direct distance is taken to b 2/3rds of the travel distance.

The 'direct distance' is the shortest distance from any point within the floor area, measured within the external enclosures of the building, to the nearest storey exit, ignoring walls, partitions and fittings, other than the enclosing walls/partitions to protected stairways.

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