New research has found that nearly half (49%) of urban design professionals believe that the recent rise of pedestrianisation in city and town centres is making public spaces more vulnerable to attack. The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on urban economies, with local authorities left in the novel position of needing to find ways to encourage people back into city centres. Temporary pedestrianisation of key locations has suddenly become commonplace as a result, offering an effective means of facilitating social distancing and increasing outdoor seating capacity for struggling bars and restaurants. Temporary security measures However, the survey of architects, planners and specifiers by ATG Access revealed that many are concerned about the potential security risks of widespread pedestrianisation. Large numbers of pedestrians gathered in a confined area increases the threat of vehicle-as-a-weapon attacks Without the appropriate security solutions in place, large numbers of pedestrians gathered in a confined area greatly increases the threat of vehicle-as-a-weapon attacks. In response to this increased security threat, nearly a third (30%) of those surveyed said that investing in temporary security measures that can be installed and removed as needed will be essential to ensure the ongoing safety of civilians. Comprehensive security solution Iain Moran, director at ATG Access, commented: “While pedestrianisation offers real benefits for businesses and consumers at this difficult time, we must ensure that the right security solutions are in place to avoid putting people in unnecessary danger.” “It is clear that in some cases security could have been sacrificed for social distancing and designers are seriously concerned that security has become an afterthought. Temporary, surface-mounted security barriers offer a flexible, comprehensive security solution that can easily be adapted without the need for any construction work, making them invaluable in the current situation.” Retrofitting security solutions The research also found that many urban design professionals believe there is now a clear need for public spaces that can be easily adapted to respond to the changing needs, including security measures that can be replaced or upgraded whenever necessary. According to 43% of those surveyed, this will be the key to future proofing the cities going forward. The pandemic has really brought to light the volatile nature of our relationship with our urban environments" However, historically this has proved a challenge, with 32% suggesting that retrofitting security solutions into existing developments is one of the biggest design challenges they face. Iain Moran, director at ATG Access, added: “The pandemic has really brought to light the volatile nature of our relationship with our urban environments, with both the needs of the public and the security risks they face subject to change with very little warning.” Redesigning public spaces “When it comes to redesigning public spaces, it can prove difficult to retrofit security solutions without causing disruption to the surrounding area. Previously, impact-tested security products have required deep foundations, which means a lengthy, obtrusive installation process.” “Fortunately, security technology has improved dramatically in recent years, and there are now many options available that can overcome these challenges. In addition to temporary products, permanent shallow mount bollards can now require a foundation depth of just 112mm, and as a result are far quicker to install with minimal disruption to the surrounding area.”
Birmingham’s hospitality businesses have benefited from significantly increased outdoor dining space, following the deployment of ATG Access’ Surface Guard system at a number of locations around Hurst Street. With many businesses struggling as a result of the restrictions placed on public venues by the government, Birmingham City Council was keen to make it possible for people to return to the city’s usually bustling bars and restaurants in a safe, socially distanced way. It recognised that pedestrianising key areas would significantly increase capacity and enable venues to take advantage of the government’s pavement licence scheme. However, the council also wanted to keep the roads open to normal traffic between Monday and Friday to minimise disruption, while allowing bars and restaurants to use the carriageway for outside dining space at the weekend. Vehicle access extension plates Requiring an innovative, flexible solution in order to achieve this temporary pedestrianisation, Birmingham City Council contacted renowned event-protection business, Crowdguard. With less than 24 hours’ notice, Crowdguard deployed 65 metres of ATG Access’s hugely sought-after Surface Guard barrier system in five different locations across the city centre, with four locations having Vehicle Access Units. Surface Guard is a completely surface-mounted system, meaning that there is no damage to the underlying road Thanks to the specialist vehicle access extension plates, the barriers provide access to normal traffic from Monday to Friday, while also creating safe, pedestrianised areas with no unauthorised vehicle access on Saturdays and Sundays. Surface Guard is a completely surface-mounted system, meaning that there is no damage to the underlying road, with a lightweight and modular design that makes it quick and easy to deploy with no machinery required. Crash test standard Without appropriate security measures in place, pedestrianising busy city centres can render the public more vulnerable to hostile vehicle attacks, thanks to greater numbers of people gathered in outside areas. A Surface Guard barrier can withstand the impact of a 7,200kg vehicle travelling at 32kph and has been tested twice in accordance to the IWA 14 crash test standard, providing world renowned protection against such attacks. The barriers are also designed to allow people to flow in and out of an area with minimal disruption, preventing the unnecessary build-up of crowds. This makes them ideal for facilitating social distancing, while also providing further protection from vehicle as a weapon attacks. The temporary pedestrianisation of Hurst Street was hailed a success after its first weekend of operation, which saw an estimated increase in trading of up to 50% for participating venues. Offering flexible solution Iain Moran, Director at ATG Access, commented: “Birmingham City Council has done a brilliant job supporting its hospitality businesses, recognising very quickly the value that pedestrianisation could bring to the sector. Increasing capacity in this way has only become more important in light of the new 10pm curfew, so we hope to see more councils and local authorities following suit to give venues the best chance of survival." In this situation, Surface Guard offered the perfect flexible solution, ensuring all needs can be met" "However, it’s also vital to keep public safety and security front and centre when making any changes to our urban landscapes, as well as bearing in mind the impact that pedestrianisation can have on other businesses in the area. In this situation, Surface Guard offered the perfect flexible solution, ensuring all needs can be met.” Support hospitality businesses Deborah Ainscough, Operations Director at Crowdguard, said: “We are proud that, through innovations such as Surface Guard, we have been able to make a real difference to Birmingham’s hospitality sector, helping as many people as possible to show their support for local businesses in a safe and secure way.” James Betjemann, Head of Enterprise Zone and Curzon Delivery at Birmingham City Council, commented: “Crowdguard provided the council with a number of temporary barriers to facilitate a series of weekend road closures to help support hospitality businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19. Deborah and the team were able to mobilise and install the barriers at very short notice and provided excellent customer service throughout the scheme.”
An innovative streamlined perimeter security system, capable of stopping a 7,200 kg vehicle travelling at 50 mph, is now available to protect Critical National Infrastructure sites from vehicle ramming attacks and forced entry attempts. The StronGuard Beam is the latest development in impact-tested perimeter security from ATG Access, the world’s designer and manufacturer of road blockers, bollards and vehicle barriers. Impact and forced entry tested The new system combines an impact-tested Bristorm Beam with a Barkers Fencing StronGuard palisade fence or SecureGuard SL2 mesh system and is forced-entry tested. The unique combination of an impact-tested beam and forced entry, the attack-tested fence provides a high level of protection in one system, while also offering a significantly smaller footprint than two separate products. This makes the StronGuard Beam the ideal solution for locations where space is at a premium but maximum security is required, such as petrochemical installations, military sites, hazardous waste storage sites, test laboratories and data centres. Integration with perimeter intrusion The StronGuard Beam successfully arrested a 7,200 kg vehicle travelling at 50mph when subjected to an IWA 14 impact test, while one can select a fencing component forced entry tested by LPCB, ASTM or CPNI depending on the site requirements. The product is compatible with a wide range of attack-tested mesh and palisade fence systems, which can be integrated with barbed wire, razor wire, electrified fencing, and perimeter intrusion detection systems for enhanced security. Industrial Security Iain Moran, director at ATG Access, commented: “In industrial settings where security is of the utmost importance, achieving the necessary level of protection can sometimes impact on everyday operations, with multi-layered security solutions occupying valuable space.” “However, with the StronGuard Beam, no compromises need to be made regarding operational requirements or effectiveness, and we are really excited to be expanding our range of cutting-edge, problem-solving products with this latest innovation.”
Manufacturer of road blockers, bollards and vehicle barriers, ATG Access, has committed resources to protect hospitals across the country from external threats amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Through its partnership with deployment partner, event protection business Crowdguard, ATG’s hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) solution, Surface Guard, has been installed to protect the temporary 500-bed London Nightingale Hospital built at the ExCel Centre, London. Potential security vulnerability After having originally having been alerted of a potential security vulnerability to vehicle attacks at the ExCel Centre, Crowdguard were quick to respond, successfully installing 40 metres of ATG Access’ Surface Guard across three locations on-site within 36 hours. The solution is fully pedestrian-permeable, and Crowdguard has also deployed a separate Authorised Vehicle Access Unit in front of the hospital, ensuring that hospital operations remain entirely unaffected by the new measures. Following the successful initial installation of Surface Guard, ATG Access has now also been commissioned to secure the 2,000-bed capacity field hospital built by a temporary conversion of Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, from Monday 20th April. All necessary security products, once again deployed by Crowdguard, have been donated free of charge to ensure the hospital, staff and patents are fully protected from attack. Minimising disruption to event operation A Surface Guard barrier can withstand the impact of a 7,200kg vehicle travelling at 32kph Furthermore, Hardstaff Barriers, part of the wider HS Security Group, has also been enlisted to protect the Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate. Both Hardstaff Barriers and ATG Access are part of HS Security, a group of the UK’s physical security specialists owned by Hill & Smith Holdings PLC. Designed in response to the surge in vehicular attacks across Europe in recent years, a Surface Guard barrier can withstand the impact of a 7,200kg vehicle travelling at 32kph and has been tested twice in accordance to the IWA 14 crash test standard. The barrier’s lightweight and modular design means that it can be deployed quickly and efficiently by four men in under an hour, minimising disruption to event operation and the surrounding area. Implementing the necessary solutions We wanted to ensure that people don’t have to worry about security during these difficult times" Iain Moran, director at ATG Access, said, “Now, as ever, the public’s safety remains top priority and, to this end, we wanted to ensure that people don’t have to worry about security during these difficult times.” “We have a long-standing relationship with the ExCel Centre, having worked to protect the venue across a number of high-profile events in the past, so we knew what security measures would be needed for the temporary hospital. Due to Crowdguard’s expertise and unparalleled deployment network, we were able to work together to implement the necessary solutions rapidly and effectively, keeping key workers and critical infrastructure safe in these challenging times.” Deborah Ainscough, operations director at Crowdguard, said, “We are proud that, through innovations such as Surface Guard, we are at the forefront of securing the nation’s hospitals and, through this, ensuring that both vital key workers and patients affected by COVID-19 are kept safe.”
The manufacturer of road blockers, bollards and vehicle barriers, ATG Access has launched the latest generation in bridge protection systems, unveiling its Populus Bollard system to a range of customers, security experts and civil engineering specifiers. This is the second bridge security system the company has brought to market making it the only supplier with multiple systems currently available. This new solution is a short, shallow and slim solution available in current physical security market, ideal for bridge applications. Populus Bollard system The new system, which achieved both the IWA 14 and PAS 68 standards at tests undertaken at the MIRA testing facility in March 2020, was able to arrest a 7.5-tonne vehicle traveling at 48 kph (30 mph) at a 30-degree angle. Tests were carried out under COVID-19 distancing restrictions demonstrating the company’s commitment to continue developing and innovating throughout the current crisis. Bridge design dictates that vehicular attacks are most likely to be carried out at a shallow angle The internationally-recognised tests were designed to simulate the distinctive features of a vehicular attack on a bridge and resulted in minimal penetration damage of under half a metre. Bridge design dictates that vehicular attacks are most likely to be carried out at a shallow angle as a forward moving vehicle leaves the carriageway to mount the pavement at speed. Delivering robust performance Due to their unique engineering characteristics, bridges bring specific challenges to security systems such as drainage requirements, expansion joints and depth constraints. Coupled with the inability to close structures for prolonged installation periods, any bridge security system needs to operate within these parameters while delivering robust performance. Specifically designed for installation within areas with either no depth available or a challenging substructure, the system requires excavation of just 40mm and is installed without bolting, mechanical fixings or any upstand. Protection against vehicular attack Furthermore, it requires no finishing surface treatment to the highway to conceal the top of the product, meaning it can be installed in any carriageway conditions. The system can accommodate cambers, contours and expansion joints This innovative approach protects the integrity of the bridge structure while affording the greatest possible protection to bridge users and bridge parapets from vehicular attack. The system can accommodate cambers, contours and expansion joints, and is available in a range of aesthetic treatments to blend into heritage and modern settings alike. Full-scale impact tests It has been developed in close collaboration with local authorities, architects and engineers who have come together to establish the principles of the system which have been refined by the ATG Access design team. In development for just three months, scale models of the Populus system have been subjected to a series of simulated tests with data collected at each stage of product development with the aim of eliminating different variables. These test simulations led up to the full-scale impact tests carried out in March. Cycle-friendly system The cycle-friendly system can accommodate an array of handrails and fencing Iain Moran, Sales & Marketing Director at ATG Access, said, “The key advantage of this system is the fact that its installation does not require any disruption to the bridge sub-structure. The super-shallow system provides extraordinary security levels without impacting the integrity of the structure.” “This, coupled with the beautiful aesthetic treatments we have available with the Populus system, mark a major leap forward for bridge protection systems. We have received very favourable feedback to the system so far, and we look forward to rolling the product out around the world in the coming months.” The cycle-friendly system can accommodate an array of handrails and fencing built around its central core which provides the structural strength of the system.
Innovator of road blocker, bollards and vehicle barrier systems, ATG Access, has promoted Iain Moran to sales and marketing director. Having worked at ATG Access for the past 18 years, Iain is hugely experienced and has helped to shape the company’s success in the UK and internationally, including in Australia and the USA. As part as his new role, Iain will lead a team of eleven to deliver ambitious growth targets, both internationally and in the UK, as the business continues to expand and develop more cutting-edge products. ATG aims to grow export sales over the next three years utilising their extensive network of international distributors. Secured high profile security projects Iain first joined ATG as an electrical engineer before moving to Commercial UK Sales, High Security Sales and then finally heading up UK Sales, whilst also looking after transactions in America, Australia and Canada. He has helped to secure high profile security projects including The Shard, Sydney Opera House, London Olympics 2012, various Network Rail train stations and multiple airports including LAX Airport. Meeting customer needs Commenting on his promotion, Iain Moran, said: “ATG Access is a brilliant place to work and I’ve enjoyed helping the business make waves in the security industry. Over the past 18 years, I have gained vast knowledge and understanding of the market and how our solutions are best placed to meet customer needs, and I am excited about the challenge ahead.” Gavin Hepburn, managing director at ATG Access, said: “Iain is a highly valued and fundamental member of the team, and will play a significant role in helping us to expand and meet our ambitious growth plans for the future.”