A new security bollard designed to protect pedestrians from terrorist vehicle attacks on London’s bridges has successfully come through crash testing and could be installed at key locations in the coming months.
Safetyflex Barriers, a leading inventor and manufacturer of anti-terrorism bollards based in Coventry, has crash-tested the new bollard – proving it can stop an 18-tonne vehicle.
The company designed the new ultra-shallow bollard to specifically protect the bridges following fatal vehicle strikes, and after being approached by several agencies involved in civil protection.
Concerns have been raised over a lack of protection for pedestrians and other users in the wake of Westminster Bridge and London Bridge both being targeted in 2017.
Safetyflex Barriers has used its specialist designs and energy absorption materials to create a slimline bollard which requires no fixing to a bridge deck and can instead be mounted on a free-standing topping of only 80mm deep.
It has also been designed for high-speed installation and to provide a line of defence between the road and cycle path, creating separate space for cyclists across the bridge and enough room for other bridge users.
Safetyflex’s new Truckstopper Bridge Bollard has now been successfully tested to industry standards to stop an 18-tonne vehicle. The IWA 14 tests were conducted at the HORIBA MIRA research facility in Warwickshire.
Marcus Gerrard, director at Safetyflex Barriers, said: “We took the decision to design an anti-terrorism bollard specifically for London bridges after it became clear there was a need for that level of protection and after discussion with several parties involved in security who approached us.
“The criteria were extremely tough particularly around the foundation limitations and we are delighted to have achieved a design which fulfils the requirements and above all, passes the most rigorous of tests.
“Our new ultra-shallow bollard is one of the most advanced bollards within the anti-terrorist market and we are already receiving quite a lot of interest.”
As well as being able to physically stop a large truck, which replicates the size of a double decker bus, the heritage-style bollard has been designed to be lightweight, aesthetically-pleasing, and cost-effective.
Although the new bollard was designed for protecting London bridges, Safetyflex has already had an enquiry from the US and has now been put forward for installation on new and existing bridges.
Marcus added: “We have gained a reputation within the anti-terrorist market for designing the next generation of anti-terrorist barriers which protect many sites and public realm locations around the world.
“We are incredibly proud to be leading the way in providing a state-of-the-art solution which could help to prevent terrorist vehicle attacks on bridges, and we look forward to the prospect of moving into production and installation.”