UK manufacturer of street furniture, Leafield Environmental, says that one of its Night Owl retro-reflective, self-righting bollards is vying for the title ‘Toughest Bollard in Britain’. According to members of the highway engineering team of Gateshead Council’s transport strategy service, the bollard, situated at a former accident black spot near Birtley, has been hit or run over virtually every day for over 12 months and is still standing and performing its duty. The ‘T’ junction, situated on a virtually blind bend in the road, was notorious for collisions as vehicles ‘cut the corner’, despite the ‘Give Way’ warning signs and associated road markings. In an attempt to prevent this, the council constructed an island fitted with two Night Owl ‘Keep Left’, bounce-back bollards and the dramatic reduction in collisions would indicate that this was an effective solution.
However, the corner remains ‘tight’ and although drivers are now approaching it with more care, many larger vehicles still cut the corner, although not to the same extent as before, and the Night Owl bollard nearest to the junction is the victim. The Night Owl is a new, low-energy absorption, highway sign constructed from UV-stabilized Medium Density Polyethylene (MDPE). The bollard is comprised of two components: a 'Bounce-back' Base unit, designed to self-right the sign after impact; and the sign and graphics (conspicuity panels), which are designed to provide high visibility and durability in areas without street lighting. The reflex material of the base, combined with the rigid polyethylene of the sign, ensures that the bollard will withstand multiple impacts and return to upright without damage to the sign, base or reflective surfaces, which are recessed to reduce potential damage with vehicle impacts.
Ian McCran, of Gateshead Council, commented, “The scheme has been a great success in reducing collisions and it has proven to us the inherent, outstanding durability of Leafield’s Night Owl sign bollard; so much so that it is now the council’s current preferred choice for ‘Keep Left’ self-righting bollards.” The council has been so impressed with the bollard’s performance that they are about to trial the recently introduced Illuminated Night Owl, which is base-lit with a high performance LED and is reported to be so energy efficient that it costs less than £4 (US$6.2) a year to operate.
10 August 2012
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