Securiscape has successfully its Ultra Guardrail, which is the only product of its type capable of protecting people walking across bridges from vehicle attacks.

Midlands security products firm Securiscape is hailing a breakthrough for pedestrians’ safety after a railing designed specifically to be used on bridges stopped an unladen 18-tonne truck travelling at 30mph.

The company, based in Derby, has developed the railing – called the Guardrail Ultra – to protect the lives of people walking across the UK’s road bridges from vehicles mounting the pavement, either accidentally or as part of a hostile attack.

Designing and installing barriers on bridges is challenging because products cannot be installed as deep into the surface of the pavement as in a normal street, which has resulted in thousands of metres of unsightly surface-mounted security barriers and concrete blocks being placed on the UK’s road bridges in the wake of terrorist attacks on pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London three years ago.

The security industry has, however, been hard at work developing less visibly intrusive products specifically for bridges and Securiscape is the only company to have developed a guardrail that is capable of protecting pedestrians while preventing them from stepping onto the road at locations other than crossing points, which further improves road safety.

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The successful test, which was carried out last month, means that the guardrail is the first product of its type to earn the much-coveted IWA-14 rating, which specifies the essential impact performance required from a vehicle security barrier. What makes it different is that it does not require holes to be excavated in order to install it, but instead, workers simply remove the paving slabs and kerbstones, fix the guardrail in position and put the kerbstones and pavers back in place.

It took Securiscape staff just one hour to install the five panels and six posts used in the crash test, which took place at Mira in Leicestershire, after they were delivered on site in sections, fully galvanised and powder-coated and put in place by using a forklift truck and hand tools.

During the test, which was carried out at an angle of 30%, not only did the truck fail to break through the guardrail, its chassis was also bent by the impact, which immobilised the vehicle.

The design of the Guardrail Ultra also takes into account the expansion and contraction of the bridge deck caused by changes in temperature, while it can also be used with decorative fence panels – making it perfect for historic bridges in tourist towns and cities.

It is also ideal for retrofitting in other locations where there may be underground services such as water pipes or electric cables below the surface.

Mark Stone, managing director of Securiscape, said: “This is a huge breakthrough for Securiscape, simply because we have achieved what many in our industry will have considered to be impossible – stopping an 18-tonne unladen NC3 truck using a shallow security fencing product.

“That’s significant, because deep-mounted bollards and similar products are not suitable for bridges due to the damage they would do to the bridge deck and services, while they cause huge inconvenience in locations where they have to be retro-fitted.

“Everyone wants to keep people in towns and cities safe, but up until now this has come at the expense of appearance. Our Guardrail Ultras look good, they offer world-beating protection for bridges and we’re delighted to be putting British engineering and products at the forefront of the HVM world.”

Securiscape also supplies an HVM guardrail system which uses standard guardrail panels fixed to a Smartpost security bollard, while earlier this year it successfully tested a length of guardrail by driving a 2.5 tonne Toyota pick-up into it at 30mph and at an angle of 90°.

Established 13 years ago, Securiscape manufactures and installs a range of HVM security products including street planters, bollards and its own SecuriPod system – an IWA 14-rated temporary road barrier system which protects people attending outdoor events.

Its products can be found at a growing number of locations throughout the UK and worldwide.

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