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Here’s where you can and can’t install bollards

Bollards are an essential part of modern security and infrastructure, utilised for school security, crowd management, car park security and so much more. However, it’s important to know where you can and can’t install bollards to ensure they are effective, compliant, and contribute positively to the environment. In this guide, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of bollard installation across the UK.

What are bollards and what are they used for?

So, what are bollards? Those short posts you see out and about are bollards – they control traffic flow and protect the perimeter of certain buildings or spaces. Bollards have actually been in use for hundreds of years, but modern bollards come in various types, including automatically raising electric bollards, fixed bollards, and manually adjustable bollards.

You’ve probably seen bollards used in a wide variety of places and for many different purposes. For example, bollards can be used around the perimeter of public buildings and pedestrianised areas to restrict access and keep people safe from traffic – fixed bollards are typically used for this. Bollards can also be used on private property, such as private car parks and around people’s homes. Automatic bollards are excellent at preventing people from parking in the wrong spaces, as they can be raised and lowered remotely by the owner of the space.

Where can you install bollards?

As mentioned above, you can install bollards in a variety of public and private spaces, including public buildings, car parks, domestic properties, schools, factories, pedestrianised areas, hospitals, and retail and business parks. Installing bollards in these places can be a much more cost-effective and less disruptive security solution compared to installing fences and gates, but you still get the benefits of better access control, traffic control and personal safety.

However, bollards can’t just be installed anywhere. While extremely effective, they’re not appropriate for all situations and properties, as we’ll discuss in more detail later. If you’re looking to learn where you can install bollards, read on for nine of the most common examples of excellent places to install bollards. 

1. Pedestrian zones

Bollards are commonly used to create designated pedestrian zones, safeguarding walkers from vehicular traffic. Placing bollards at the entrance of these areas helps maintain a safer environment for pedestrians. You can read more about how to control pedestrian flow in a commercial space using bollards and other security solutions in this guide.

2. Building entrances

Installing bollards near building entrances can protect structures from accidental collisions by vehicles. This is especially important for locations with high foot traffic, such as shopping centres, hospitals, and educational institutions. In these cases, pairing bollards with an access control system can help to maintain both efficiency and security. If this is something your business could benefit from, learn which access control system is right for your business.

3. Car parks

Bollards help businesses to manage traffic in an organised way, something that’s incredibly important for car park security and efficiency. Bollards can help define parking spaces, prevent unauthorised parking, and also protect pedestrians from moving vehicles. Such security measures work perfectly alongside car park management systems, ensuring you receive fair payment and are able to control who accesses your car park. 

4. Schools and universities

We can’t stress enough why school security is important, from the classrooms to the outermost boundaries of the car park. Bollards are one of the best ways of keeping a school site secure, as they prevent unauthorised access and keep children and parents out of the path of moving vehicles. This is particularly helpful during pick-up and drop-off times when your car park or surrounding areas may be incredibly busy.

5. Restricted areas

Bollards are often used to control access to restricted areas, such as bus lanes, emergency vehicle routes, and private driveways. These installations help maintain traffic flow and enforce regulations. For more high-risk restricted areas, bollards and road blockers help to mitigate the risk of hostile vehicles and other threats. Our K4 and K12 bollards are commonly used around embassies, military bases and other highly sensitive sites that may be at an increased risk of threats.

6. Driveways

Many home and business owners opt for bollards rather than driveway gates for a space-saving security solution. Electric bollards for driveways are cost-effective and incredibly unobtrusive, providing sleek aesthetics and easy access to your home and business. We discuss this in more detail in our post “What’s the best driveway security: bollards or gates?

7. Ports

Another place you might see bollards are ports. These mooring bollards are placed in lines along the port’s edge, and they feature holes for securing mooring ropes. Mooring bollards play an essential role in docking boats and ships.

8. Construction sites

Temporary bollards are often placed around the perimeter of construction sites to prevent public access and unauthorised traffic. This keeps people safe and ensures the right vehicles have easier access to the worksite. 

9. Traffic control

Bollards can be installed around public roads to delineate areas like traffic islands and bicycle lanes and control the flow of traffic. These traffic bollards are particularly useful in areas with no kerbs or no physical barriers between regular lanes and bicycle lanes, since they can help keep more vulnerable road users safe. You’ll commonly see these bollards in conjunction with other traffic calming measures like speed bumps. 

Where you can’t install bollards

Unfortunately, bollards can’t be safely and legally installed in every location. Here are five examples of where you can not install bollards.

1. Public footpaths

It’s important to avoid installing bollards on public footpaths, as this can hinder the movement of pedestrians and those with disabilities. Always ensure that footpaths remain accessible and unobstructed so that pedestrians can pass by without difficulty. 

2. Historic sites

When dealing with historic sites or conservation areas, bollard installation should be approached with caution. It’s essential to maintain the visual integrity of these areas while still ensuring safety and security. Speak to conservation experts or local authorities if you need to amp up your security solutions but aren’t sure what is allowed. 

3. Roads

Bollards should not be placed directly on highways or busy roads, as they can pose a hazard to both motorists and pedestrians. However, they can of course be installed on the roadside to demarcate pedestrian zones and bicycle lanes or to protect structures.

4. Natural habitats

Like with historic and cultural sites, you should take care when installing any kind of security solution in a natural habitat. Bollards could confuse or harm creatures living there, and you may also find yourself in legal trouble for disturbing or damaging the natural habitat. Green spaces should ideally be preserved for their ecological value, and bollards could disrupt this.

5. All unapproved locations

As a rule of thumb, you should always ensure that bollard installations adhere to local regulations and guidelines. Placing bollards in unauthorised locations could lead to legal issues and negatively impact public safety. To keep everyone safe – including yourself – check local guidelines and consult with an expert if you are unsure. 

Things to consider when installing bollards

1. Local regulations

Consult local authorities or city planners to ensure your proposed bollard installation aligns with existing regulations and guidelines.

2. Safety

When installing bollards, always prioritise safety and accessibility for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. Bollards are made to enhance safety, not to compromise it. Plus, you may land yourself in legal trouble should an accident or injury occur due to your bollards.

3. Maintenance

Consider the long-term maintenance requirements of the bollards to ensure they remain effective and visually appealing. Do you have the time to maintain your bollards? Will your chosen type of bollard withstand the security issues you face? Take a look at our complete guide to bollard maintenance to make sure you know the responsibilities of installing and maintaining bollards. 

4. Aesthetics

You may want to choose bollard designs that blend well with the surrounding environment, especially in historic or visually sensitive areas. Luckily, there are many different types of bollards to choose from, so you’re sure to find the perfect match.

FAQs about where to install bollards

Is it illegal to put bollards on a grass verge?

Generally, it is not advised to put bollards on a grass verge situated alongside a road or pavement. Under the Highways Act 1980, it is an offence to obstruct, block or damage road verges. If someone is injured or damages their vehicle due to your bollards, you may be faced with legal action. If you are considering installing bollards on a grass verge, be sure to communicate with your local council and planning authorities. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the installation of bollards, so it’s essential that you speak with the correct authorities.

Can you put bollards on the pavement?

Members of the public should not attempt to install bollards on pavements. Although councils may regularly install bollards on pavements in order to prevent unauthorised parking, this does not mean members of the public can do so. If you want bollards installed on a pavement near you, contact your local council for advice.

Can I put a bollard on my drive?

Installing electric bollards on your driveway could be a great way to prevent others from parking in your space. However, it’s important to check exactly where your private property ends and where the public footpath begins, as you’re not allowed to install bollards on or too close to the pavement or road. To avoid getting into trouble with the authorities, you need to install your bollards at least 45 cm away from the road or pavement so that you’re not obstructing any cars or pedestrians.

Do you need planning permission to install bollards?

If your bollard is situated entirely within your private property, you don’t need planning permission to install it. Planning permission is only needed if you want to install a bollard on the boundary of your property or on public land. In this case, you should contact your local council to discuss why you think it’s in the best interest of the community to have a bollard installed in a public place.

However, if you’re a leaseholder, you may need to seek approval from your landlord, freeholder or property management company before you install a bollard on your driveway. If in doubt, get in touch with your landlord or local council before spending money on bollard installation.

With 35 years of collective security experience under our belts, we at Expert Security are always here to help with any questions relating to bollards, driveway gates, and any other security solutions. Contact a member of our friendly team to discuss your security requirements today.