High Security Bollards

There is on the market today a huge range of Bollards that have been independently tested for HVM performance across an official testing range from 1.5t @ 20mph (32kmh) up to 7.5t @50mph (80kph). Some product tests have also been carried out for specific infrastructure specifications up to 30,000 kg @ 50MPH (80KPH).

Most Bollard designs require foundations but surface mounted, static, versions are available which do provide hostile vehicle security on a temporary basis to secure one-off events or provide temporary protection. Impact tests have been conducted on completely surface mounted, temporary, static Bollard systems and they have successfully arrested a 7,500kg vehicle mass travelling at 48kph. Penetration levels achieved have been between 0 and 2 metres. Bolted, automatic, surface mounted Bollards have been tested using a 7,200kg vehicle travelling at 64kph achieving no penetration.

Temporary products usually consist of steel plates with either 2 or 3 Bollards attached to the plate. The plates are linked using chains or steel links. Six Bollards can be deployed in just over ten minutes using lifting equipment such as lifting straps and a fork lift truck. Many of these temporary solutions were developed for the London Olympic Games 2012 which demanded a portfolio of impact tested products to secure sites on a temporary basis while the games took place over an 8 week period.

Surface mounted static Bollards have been tested with a 7,500kg vehicle travelling at 48kph and with a range of different anchoring methods. Initially products were surface mounted and anchored at each end using ballast – such as planters, surface mounted fencing systems or certain highway barrier systems. More recent testing has explored utilising items within an existing street scene such as attaching an array of surface mounted Bollards to close a roadway to permanent, high security Bollards already installed on kerb lines to protect pedestrians and infrastructure. Other anchoring methods include the use of lampposts and drain gullies.

These types of Bollards provide impact test certified security measures to a temporary event or to protect a public area for a short period of time. Bollards provide pedestrian access whilst keeping vehicles away from an area.

For areas which require temporary protection, but need to allow occasional vehicle access, surface mounted automated bollards have been developed. These products are an excellent way of providing temporary security but allowing entry to site for emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire engines or police vehicles. These products have been certified to withstand a 7,200kg vehicle travelling at 64kph and require bolting to the surface. Operating speeds range between 5 and 6 seconds with the option of an emergency fast operation option if required.


HVM Bollards in general are particularly suited to scenarios requiring pedestrian friendly protection from vehicle attack. They are simple yet strong barriers which may be fixed, removable, or telescopic.  Different aesthetics may be applied through the use of various coatings and sleeves to allow bollards to be part of a holistic design of an area or site.

Bollards are extremely safe for pedestrians and still provide access for cyclists but are a much needed and strong vehicle deterrent.  At the highest design level, High Security Bollards are capable of stopping cars and trucks at high speed to maintain a secure perimeter.  For areas with very high pedestrian flow, bollards provide the best way to provide security with pedestrian permeability making them the first choice for entrance at Airports, Stadiums, Skyscraper buildings and commercial areas etc.

This type of security product can be integrated into a wider security scheme and can be used to make vehicles and drivers behave in a certain way. For instance, if you have a highly secure site which requires under vehicle scanning and the physical checking of every vehicle entering the site by security guards; a double layer bollard system can act as an air lock system to prevent the vehicle from negating the scanning process.

Where Bollards may not be appropriate would be the securing of a site which seeks to prohibit the free flow of pedestrians i.e. sites where both vehicle access and pedestrian access is prohibited. In this instance, high security fencing may be more appropriate.

Bollards can be integrated with street furniture items to provide an aesthetic quality to the surrounding environment. They also provide advertising and branding opportunities where bespoke sleeves can be designed to reflect the type of site being protected. For instance, some stadium VIP entrances have had bespoke bollard sleeve designs to showcase a sports club logo or colours. A vinyl wrap can be used to provide sponsorship and advertising opportunities for areas. Lights can also be added to illuminate kerb lines and pedestrian walkways.

Historically, great lengths were taken to hide security measures such as bollard systems. This notion facilitated many innovative and aesthetically pleasing security schemes which can be seen at critical national infrastructure sites across the UK and further afield. More recently, following an increase in vehicle-related terror attacks across Europe, perceptions are changing. The general public feel safer when security measures are visible and are more likely to feel at ease visiting an iconic site when security measures have been installed and are visible.

Bollards are able to be integrated within a wider security scheme and with other security products. For automated bollard systems, multiple access control methods can be used to operate systems providing that methods do not compromise the nature of a high security installation.

Static bollards can be made to suit automated systems or complement an alternative high security product such as a rising arm barrier or a road blocker. Other non-impact tested access control methods such as speed gates or sliding gates can also be integrated with automated high security bollard systems to upgrade the security of a site retrospectively.

Fixed and shallow foundation products can be embedded within street furniture items to alter the aesthetics of a security scheme or to provide the security products with an additional use such as a flagpole, handrail, planter or bench.

When assessing a site for security measures, operational requirements and health and safety procedures must always be considered. Each site will be different according to their chosen operational methodology and need to be considered individually in conjunction with a full site risk assessment.

Further information on independently tested HVM Bollards can be found in the searchable product database.

In association with