Robust barriers are streets ahead

19/11/2020
Chris Ames

Local authorities are being urged to install concrete or steel barriers, rather than plastic alternatives, to aid social distancing in town and city centres.

Manufacturer and supplier Hardstaff Barriers has warned that councils should consider crash-tested steel or concrete barriers, rather than plastic versions, which it said are untested and less stable and provide ‘no protection against traffic’.

The firm pointed out that during the pandemic there has been a rise in the use of barriers in urban areas to aid social distancing, create cycle lanes, provide protection from roads and tram lines and create outdoor dining areas.

It argued that while plastic barriers have a place in some schemes, such as creating a clearly visible walkway or cordon, if they are not crash-tested ‘they provide no protection to pedestrians or road users whatsoever’.

Executive director Dave Todd said: ‘In the current climate, when the need to protect people is greater than ever before, and as the winter approaches, it is important that an approved concrete or steel barrier is selected to provide maximum protection for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.’

Hardstaff said it has installed barriers in a number of town and city centre locations in the UK, with a recent project including the installation of temporary concrete and steel barriers in the centre of Sheffield.

The project was carried out on behalf of Amey, which operates the Streets Ahead Highways Maintenance and Management service across the city, for the city council.

In West Street (above) the safety barriers separate pedestrians from the road and tram line, providing protection from passing trams and vehicles, particularly during busy times.

The barriers, which are crash rated to EN1317, also allow pedestrians to socially distance safely without the risk of walking into the path of a vehicle.

Each weighing 2500kg, the crash-tested barriers cannot be moved without specialist equipment so they are safer and more robust than plastic barriers, Hardstaff said.

In July, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure warned that queue-filled high streets created by social distancing measures could be a target for terrorists using a vehicle as a weapon.

Image right shows plastic barriers in Hammersmith, West London

Highways jobs

Conservation Officer

£26,025 - £38,616 depending on skills
Do you have passion and enthusiasm for the historic built environment?  London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Project Manager - Waste Management

Up to £47389 per annum
Project Manager - Waste ManagementFixed Term, 24 monthsFull Time, 37 hours per weekUp to £47,389 per annumLocation
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Programme Manager - Waste Management

£51510 - £62842 per annum
Programme Manager - Waste ManagementPermanent, Full TimeUp to £62,842 per annumLocation
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Senior Planner (Policy)

£33,543 - £46,962
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Deputy Director - Neighbourhoods

c. £100k
This role will take the lead on a wide range of our public facing services... Bexley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Bexley

Director, Environment and Waste

Attractive Remuneration Package      
As the biggest County Council in the country, there is a fantastic opportunity to make a big difference. Kent
Recruiter: Kent County Council

Corporate Director, Growth, Environment and Transport

Attractive Remuneration Package      
This is a great time to join Kent County Council.  Kent
Recruiter: Kent County Council

CPP Engineer x2

£19,698- £35,745
Wirral is home to vibrant, energetic and engaged communities, people who take real ownership of their local area and are passionate about... Wirral, Merseyside
Recruiter: Wirral Borough Council

Asset Manager

£38,705 (pro rata for part time)
We have a new role waiting for you to join us as an Asset Manager (Carriageways, Footways and Street Furniture). Suffolk
Recruiter: Suffolk County Council

Greenspaces & Leisure Project Officer (2 Year Fixed Term Contract)

£34,884 - £38,883 Per Annum
The Greenspaces & Leisure service manages and improves... Colindale, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Barnet London Borough Council

Public Rights of Way Officer

£32,234 - £34,728 per annum
You will be responsible for the day to day management of the Public Rights of Way network which includes the manual routine inspection of... Darlington, Durham
Recruiter: Darlington Borough Council

Environmental Health Officer - Covid-19 Response

£27,741 to £33,782
The role involves responding to and investigating complaints from a variety of sources,  carrying out... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Technical Officer (Environmental Health)

£20,092 to £24,491
These roles can be fixed term or casual based on the candidate, if you have any enquiries about this please see contact details below.  Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Senior Technical Officer (Environmental Health)

£25,481 - £30,451
As a Senior Technical Officer you will help to deliver our Environmental Health Services to the residents and businesses of Kirklees. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Deputy Public Realm Manager

£24,012 to £25,481 per annum (SCP 16-19)
The role is an exciting opportunity to work on a variety of projects and provide excellent community services to Biggleswade. Biggleswade, Bedfordshire
Recruiter: Biggleswade Town Council

Public Realm Manager

£32,910 to £35,745 per annum (SCP 29-32)
The role is an exciting opportunity to work on a variety of projects and provide excellent community services to Biggleswade. Biggleswade, Bedfordshire
Recruiter: Biggleswade Town Council

Excess Death Management Operations Lead

Up to £450 per day
This role will act as the operations lead for Excess Death Management and key lead on the associated Winter Surge Planning. England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Principal Electrical Asset Officer

£35,745 - £43,857
we are looking for a suitably qualified and experienced professionals to join the existing team as Principal Electrical Asset Officers. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recruiter: Birmingham City Council

Highways Development Management Officer - Agreements

A starting salary of £28,672 (rising to £32,234)
We are looking to recruit a Highways Development Management Officer - Agreements Morpeth, Northumberland, County Hall
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Senior Assistant Engineer

£32,910 and £36,922
Senior Assistant Engineer (Structures) - Band 8 (SCP 29-33)  Morpeth, Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Highways Heroes Special

View the latest issue

Latest Video