Thursday, 17 April 2014

Double Bollards on Plastic Islands

Sometime in the past week or so the black and yellow bollards have been removed from Middlewood Street and Liverpool Street (they didn't last long!) and have been replaced by new plastic traffic islands with two bollards on each.

There are four on Middlewood Street, at the beginning and end of the section without armadillos where the yellow bollards were installed,

and the other two marking the beginning and end of the line of armadillos.

The bollards are the soft new plastic ones, like the yellow bollards, and the traffic islands seem to be an amorphous, possibly recycled, hard plastic.

They are hollow, like the armadillos, you can tell by kicking them, and also, like the armadillos, they are secured to the road by bolts. You can tell this from the bolt covers.

By contrast the bollards required a much larger hole to be sunk in the road, this is where one was removed.

On Liverpool Street, two more of these islands have been installed, the entry one in place of the bollard,

and the exit one in place of the final armadillo.

They all looked very clean, as if they have only been in for a day or two.

It remains to be seen how they perform. They have a bit more presence than the bollards, but the predominant colour is black so they visually merge into the road.

As for their resilience, it is notable that they have slanted sides to deflect any impact, I suspect they are really only suitable for car parks and other places with low traffic speeds. I am also concerned that they could throw a small car onto its roof if driven into at speed.


  1. Let them do the trial. The armadillo has grown into an island, but still plastic. And when that fails, they can either go bigger or harder materials. Hmm? Like concrete maybe?

  2. I have always shied away from bolt-down kerbs because of (my perceived) worries about resilience, but they can be used to test stuff before digging stuff in.

    I guess the problem being found with this scheme is that it is not robust and thought should now be given to plan in proper kerbs.

    People often turn over cars when they kit kerbs at speed, but we cannot design for people so far beyond the speed limit and acceptable driving. If we did, it would be crash barrier everywhere.

  3. As a cyclist myself i refuse to use these lanes because i know if there is debris, glass, etc in the lane i will have nowhere to go to avoid it, pottentially throwing me into the path of a vehicle