Bollards can provide security and subtle direction for pedestrian traffic. Bollards are designed to warn drivers of restricted areas or to deny drivers access and help in preventing collisions around the designated areas.
Bollards have decorative and functional applications, enhancing the visual quality of buildings while providing physical barriers for safer, more controlled environments. Bollard installation may be required for traffic guidance, restricted access control, or general workplace safety management.
Examples of Bollard Installation
There are various uses for bollard installations, such as:
Security for buildings and infrastructure – Bollards can prevent damage to buildings, by protecting doors and walls from damage or collisions from warehouse vehicles such as forklifts and trolleys. Many commercial or industrial businesses spend a lot of money each year repairing damage from such incidents, safety bollards can be a way to save money.
Pedestrian safety – In town planning, safety bollards are often used to form barriers between street traffic and pedestrians on the footpath particularly where construction and maintenance work is being carried out. Workplaces can implement a similar system in parking areas, warehouses, or factories to ensure that workers feel safe walking around the premises.
Restriction access to areas – Bollards act as an impediment to vandalism, theft, and other crimes. Putting bollards in front of glass doors or entryways cuts down on the likelihood of vehicles being used to ram the doors or business fronts to damage or gain entry. Bollards send a subconscious signal that other barriers and security features exist to protect the building.
Aesthetic value, with distinct traffic control – Gates, walls, fences, and railings can often be unattractive, impairing the aesthetics of a park, street, shopping precinct, or businesses. Safety bollards can be designed to blend in and provide the protective function of a barrier with aesthetic appeal.
Traffic management in industrial areas – Bollards prevent motor vehicles from accessing trails, walking paths, and other pedestrian areas, and can be used to mark off certain spots to prevent drivers from parking in exclusive zones. Bollards can discourage unauthorised parking near a loading zone, or guide forklift drivers on planned routes.
Different Types of Bollards
There are many different types of bollards serving a range of functions. However, the common ones are:
Permanent Bollards – Best for long-term security and areas at risk of ram raids. These bollard placements are sturdy and sound. These are permanent barricades that can physically protect property and serve as a warning to people and their vehicles of limited or restricted access.
Flexible Bollards – Best for deterring and guiding. Flexible bollards are bollards designed to bend when struck by vehicles. They are typically made from synthetic materials such as plastic or rubber that are stiff, but pliable under the weight of a car or truck. When struck, flexible bollards give way to some extent, reducing damage to vehicles and surrounding surfaces, returning to their original, upright position. Some flexible bollards do not provide physical protection from vehicles; rather they offer clear visual guidance for drivers. Other flexible bollards have been designed to provide physical protection as well as reduced damage by incorporating strong elastic materials. These can be all plastic or plastic/steel hybrids but combine varying degrees of stopping power and flexibility.
Removable Bollards – Best for controlling site entrances and exits. Bollards may be hinged at ground level, allowing them to be folded flat to permit vehicles to drive over them. In such cases they are generally fitted with padlocks at the base, to prevent being lowered without proper authorisation.
Removable bollards may be fitted into permanent metal ground sockets, from which they can be removed entirely to allow traffic to pass. A polypropylene ground socket is also available that protects the paving and foundations from damage when the bollard is struck. This design uses a self-locking taper to enable bollards to be easily removed and relocated.
Retractable or “rising” bollards. These bollards can be lowered entirely below the road surface (generally using an electric or hydraulic mechanism) to enable traffic to pass, or raised to block traffic. Rising bollards are used to secure sensitive areas from attack, or to enforce time-related traffic rules, or to restrict access to particular classes of traffic.
The term “robotic bollards” has been applied to traffic barricades capable of moving themselves into position on a roadway.
Manually retractable bollards. Bollards lowered by a key mechanism are useful in some cases since they do not require retrofitting into existing landscapes, or any electrical hook-ups or hydraulic systems.
Self-righting or self-recovering bollards can take a nudge from a vehicle and return to the upright position without causing damage to the bollard or vehicle. They are popular in car parking buildings and other areas of high vehicle usage
The Benefits of Using Bollards
Bollards play a vital role in traffic management, which includes traffic diversions, road closures, and semi-closures. The important uses of bollards are to alert drivers, help manage high-traffic roads, and prevent vehicles from mounting the sidewalk.
Bollards provide security from both accidental and intentional damage from vehicles. Any building or structure will have security greatly improved by the installation of bollards. Institutes such as shopping centres, banks, schools, government offices, museums, military buildings, and vulnerable buildings should consider the installation of bollards.