Innovative new concrete barriers boost driver safety
The Highways Agency will install innovative new concrete barriers to help improve road safety.
The Highways Agency is to begin the installation of concrete barriers when current steel barriers reach the end of their useful lives.
It is anticipated that the central reserve barriers will help to boost driver safety on England’s motorways by preventing collisions between cars travelling in opposite directions.
In addition, the concrete barriers will also aid worker safety in the event of roadworks.
The barriers are constructed so that minimal maintenance is required in the event of any damage to them.
They will also last longer, with an average life of 50 years compared with 25 years for current steel barriers.
All new motorway schemes will include concrete barriers as needed.
High speed roads in particular will benefit from the improved safety the barriers bring.
A particular type of barrier, the Dutch Step high containment barrier, will minimise the amount of contact vehicles have with it in the event that a car strays too close.
Contact to be limited to the vehicle’s tyres touching the base of the barrier and should allow the vehicle to continue undamaged on its journey.
This system benefits all vehicles, including 4×4 vehicles, pick-up trucks and light vans weighing up to 13.5 tonnes, including most buses and coaches.
The implementation of these barriers should eventually lead to reduced congestion on England’s roads, as fewer major accidents occur and vehicles are less severely impacted by accidental collisions with the barriers.