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Huge Lorries Form Mobile Crash Barriers at Roadworks

By Stephen Turvil | May 9, 2019


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Big, imposing, lorries form crash barriers to keep road workers safe – plus mobile cameras that keep traffic flowing

Huge Lorries Form Mobile Crash Barriers at Roadworks

How mobile barrier lorry works

New, enormous, mobile barrier lorries originally designed to protect the military from bombs now separate drivers and road workers in the West Midlands, Highways England confirmed. The purpose of the two lorries is to reduce the risk of injury by forming barriers between the workers and any fast, colliding, cars.

A Kier Highways barrier lorry has bright yellow paintwork, is seventy feet long and weighs about sixteen tonnes. These traits ensure it is easy to see which reduces the risk of collision. It is more prominent than a barrier made from traffic cones, for example.

Furthermore, if there is a collision the lorry stops the vehicle ploughing into the workers. The same cannot be said for flimsy traffic cones. The lorry also deforms at its side and rear to absorb energy from the crash. On this basis, less energy is transferred through the colliding vehicle which minimises injuries.

The mobile barrier lorry also helps the workers complete their tasks in less time. Why? Because it is quicker to position than a comparable row of traffic cones. This efficiency minimises the delay, cost, and frustration experienced by drivers. It is win win.

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Kier Highways Executive Director, Dave Wright, said: ‘We are committed to working with partners to ensure we continuously develop technology that improves safety on the road for both road workers and users. We are hugely passionate about this. Our improvements team is constantly looking at ways to innovate’, he added. ‘Our main priority is to make sure everyone gets home safe’.

Solar CCTV System cuts roadwork delays

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Highways England has further innovations that improve life for motorists, workers, and anyone else in close proximity. It is therefore investing one-hundred and fifty million pounds to make motorways and A roads ‘dependable, durable, and safe’. Note the Solar CCTV System, for example. This portable camera system can be:

  • Set up quickly
  • Operate where a permanent system is not required
  • Monitor the flow of traffic

Camera operators can then take steps to keep traffic flowing smoothly through the roadworks. Officers can be deployed, for example. The speed limit can be adjusted, too. The system has so far been particularly successful by Birmingham Airport on the M42 (junction six). It is operating at four sites in the West Midlands.

Roads improved by new ways of thinking

Highways England Corporate Support Group Leader, Martin Bolt, praised the new initiatives. ‘These projects demonstrate how emerging technologies, new materials and our ways of working can help improve safety and journeys on the road network’, he affirmed. 

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