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Sturdy barriers to aid social distancing

Experts urge councils to choose sturdy barriers to aid social distancing

Barriers installed by Hardstaff Barriers on West Street, in Sheffield

Barriers installed by Hardstaff Barriers on West Street, in Sheffield

Local authorities across the UK are being urged to install robust crash-tested concrete or steel barriers in city and town centres to aid social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic, rather than plastic alternatives.

Leading manufacturer and supplier of roadside safety barriers, Hardstaff Barriers, has warned that local authorities should consider crash-tested steel or concrete barriers, rather than untested plastic versions, which are less stable and provide no protection against traffic.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in the use of barriers in towns and cities to aid social distancing, create cycle lanes, provide protection from roads and tram lines and create alfresco dining areas.

Plastic barriers have a place in certain schemes, creating a clearly visible walkway or cordon, but they provide no protection to pedestrians or road users whatsoever.

Hardstaff Barriers has installed barrier systems in a number of town and city centre locations in the UK. A recent project included the installation of temporary concrete and steel barriers in West Street and Trippet Lane, in Sheffield.

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

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

Working with Amey in Scotland, as part of the Spaces for People scheme, Hardstaff Barriers supplied a number of barrier systems that were installed on roads across North Lanarkshire, providing additional space for pedestrians and cyclists.

Locations included Alexander Street, Wishaw; Monkscourt Avenue, Airdrie; Burnhead Road, Airdrie; Dalzell Estate, Motherwell; Burngreen, Kilsyth; Blair Road, Coatbridge; Drumpellier Park, Coatbridge; Bothwellhaugh Road, Bellshill and Neilsland Drive, Hamilton.

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

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

Dave Todd, Executive Director of Hardstaff Barriers, said: “Barriers are now being used more readily in built-up areas since the Covid-19 pandemic, often alongside roads.

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.

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