At any given time, most of the UK’s towns and cities have street works taking place and one thing that many of these will have in common isn’t just the types of works taking place on the highways and byways, it’s the types of barriers used to keep the workers – and the public – safe. MASS Crash Tested Barriers are one of the UK’s most popular choices of street works barrier.
The purpose is protection
Barriers have a specific function when used in street work, as they are usually deployed to:
- Direct and protect pedestrians.
- Separate traffic from the work space.
- Delineate diversion routes for both pedestrians and vehicles, past the work site.
- Protect road workers when on-site.
MASS Crash Tested Barriers are often specifically chosen because they fulfil all of the above protection purposes and more, with the additional benefits of:
- Being crash-tested to demonstrate their protective properties for areas of low speed work.
- Offering protection on both sides of the barrier – to the workers and pedestrians, as well as passing or diverted vehicles.
- Being non-permanent and easy to fit. One of the many key features of the MASS crash tested barrier designs is they offer quick and easy assembly, with interlocking sections or freestanding use, as required.
- Offering anti-debris protection, in the case of work site or roadside debris being thrown up.
- Having a lightweight steel construction with a weight of 48 – 50kg, these barriers offer stability and effective buffer protection, yet offer the convenience of being relatively lightweight for easy installation, redeployment, stacking and transportation.
- Offering innovative roll-on and roll-off stability which utilises the weight of an encroaching vehicle to stabilise the base of the barrier in the event of impact, causing the vehicle to be deflected away from the construction site or pedestrian safety areas. MASS barriers are literally fully crash tested to T2W5.
- Offering a highly durable and environmentally sound alternative to water-filled barriers.
- An anti-vandalism design which can incorporate the use of anti-climb fencing to enhance security.
- Availability in a choice of highly visible, powder-coated safety colours.
- Versatile design which accommodates curves and 90 degree bends.
With all of these advantages, it’s easy to see why MASS crash tested barriers are so visible in the UK’s towns and cities, but the fact they are generally seen in those locations, demonstrates one of the few limits that these barriers have – their design is optimum for low speed, not high speed areas, so their effectiveness in high speed roads and out of town areas is limited.
But of course, where there is significant work to be done, particularly in road construction, and where traffic calming measures such as reduced speed limits are in place, MASS Crash Tested Barriers are being used in many high profile street work and highway development projects:
Case Study #1:
Drivers and pedestrians on 4.8 km of the Heysham to M6 link have grown used to seeing MASS crash tested barriers in long-term use along a vast section of this highway. The barriers have been deployed to ensure safety on both sides of the barrier in an environmentally aware way – with reduced lorry-loads for delivery, redeployment and relocation along the site as the barriers are fully stackable in a compact way and no need for water-filling for stability. Where pedestrian and worker footways have been needed, these have also been facilitated by MASS barriers.
Case Study #2:
Because of their innovative shape, MASS crash tested barriers have also been the barrier of choice for the construction of a roundabout as part of Worcester’s road system development. A fully linked system, affording roll-on, roll-off stability was deployed to provide a ‘ring-fence’ to the construction site. One of this barrier system’s key benefits to this development has been the quick and easy dismantling and redeployment as work has progressed and the site developed over the area of the site development.
Other benefits which have made this barrier system the optimum choice for this development have included its versatility in guiding traffic and restricting pedestrians, its high visibility across a long-term site and its high levels of durability and stability afforded in all weathers and across the changing seasons at this long-term site.
Case Study #3:
Mass Crash Tested barriers have been recently used in Manchester to reduce city traffic congestion whilst work progresses to increase tram capacity in the city. The use of this system has been particularly effective considering the high traffic zone from a range of vehicles which include trams, other public transport and general domestic and commercial traffic. The system has also proven cost-efficient in the case of large-scale work and in providing a combination of both traffic and footway safety.
Case study #4:
Still in Manchester, but deployed as part of the initial phase of the extensions to the Metrolink service, which links International Airport to Manchester City Centre. Significantly, the barriers form a crucial part of busy roadway improvements aiming to reduce traffic congestion.
These on-going, large scale works are separated from safe pedestrian and vehicle areas using MASS barriers, which have proven to be the ideal solution for low speed environment of urban traffic not once, but twice in the process of these works. During the course of these works there were two incidents of errant vehicles colliding with traffic management facilities but, in each incident, the construction site was adequately protected as the barriers’ roll-on, roll-off stable design contained the vehicle effectively.
Finally, another of the reasons that MASS crash tested barriers make a good choice for street works across the UK is that they can be delivered to any part of the UK by Safe Site Facilities, where they are available for hire or for purchase.