The different types of bollard and their uses

The different types of bollard and their uses

Bollards are just one of the security options available to you; they act as protective barriers and restrict vehicle access to chosen areas. There are a variety of types to choose from, so whichever you opt for, it’s sure to fit all of your security needs. Bollards come in all shapes and sizes, and depending on what you need them for, they come equipped with various functions. 

There are three main types of bollards:


These bollards will retract into the ground when you need them to. Examples of the retractable variety include automatic, electric and telescopic bollards. These are great for businesses wanting a semi-permanent security system.


Embedded bollards won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, and as these are deep-rooted into the ground, they are extremely sturdy. An example of this type would be a concrete bollard. These are great for areas requiring a permanent bollard solution, like a canal or seaside area. 


These bollards can be removed if needed, and offer some useful features, for example rebounding bollards absorb the force of an impact and rebound back into position. Other features include guiding traffic and pedestrians. A great non-permanent security solution. 

What are bollards made of?

When it comes to bollards, the list of materials that they can be made from is pretty extensive. With this in mind, it’s easy to find a sturdy security solution that best suits your premises.

Metal bollards

A popular bollard material is metal. Steel, stainless steel, cast iron and aluminium are among the favourite choices for bollards. Metal bollards look sleek and are incredibly strong, making them ideal for security purposes. Stainless steel is 100% recyclable, benefitting not just yourself, but the environment too. 

Plastic bollards

A cheaper alternative to metal, plastic can also be used for bollards, with recycled plastic being a great sustainable option. Although they may not be as hard-wearing as their metal counterparts, plastic bollards can still act as a useful guide to traffic and pedestrians. Polyurethane is another great choice if you’re opting for a plastic-based bollard; these are inexpensive and are reinforced with steel cores for extra support.

Concrete bollards

Looking for an unmovable bollard that serves its purpose 24/7? Concrete bollards are securely buried into the ground which makes them perfect for bollards that you don’t want shifting. As a permanent form of security, you will need to make sure that their placement reaps the most benefits. Bollards such as these are normally found in seaside areas where vehicle access to the sea is always restricted. 

Wooden bollards

Being a more natural approach to bollard installation - and one that doesn’t create environmental eyesores - wooden bollards are another great choice. Perfect for wildlife reserves or marking boundaries near parks and fields, these wooden posts offer a subtle security option. Using wood is also a sustainable and eco-friendly option. 

Uses of bollards

The main use of bollards is to protect a perimeter, or limit access to certain areas, but they can also be incredibly versatile. This is especially the case if you choose bollards that are electric and retractable, as these can allow or prevent access depending on your needs. Non-permanent bollards are an ideal solution to busy areas, whilst permanent bollards, such as the concrete variety, are great at deterring vehicles 24/7.

Street bollards

Street bollards act as a guide for both pedestrians and vehicles, showing where they can go and where they can’t. They can even be fitted with lights or reflective strips to make their presence more known. The boundaries created can be permanent through embedded bollards, or you could go for the retractable option. Car parks and businesses can benefit from retractable bollards, picking and choosing when to grant access to their site. 

Bicycle bollards

Branching away from street bollards, bicycle bollards act in a very similar fashion, but are specifically for bikes. Next time you head off on a bike ride, keep an eye out for bicycle bollards, which are used as part of road safety, these bollards normally separate the cycle lane from the regular car lanes. In this instance, as bollards are used as a guide, plastic bollards are usually used rather than the more expensive metal variety. Plastic bollards offer a cheap bollard alternative, and act as a guide to traffic and bicycles. 


Construction sites can be dangerous and are not the place for unauthorised vehicles or personnel. More than anything, it’s in the best interests of the public and their safety that all precautions are taken. High impact bollards are ideal for protecting perimeters and ensuring construction site security. This might include rebounding or sturdy reinforced metal bollards, or maybe just the perimeter needs outlining, in which case - plastic bollards are great too. 

Could your business benefit from installing a few bollards? Or are you looking for another type of security to boost company protection? Why not get in contact and let us kit you out with all the bollards you need.