Kier is trialling new “SwiftGates” on a road job in Surrey to replace rows of cones to taper off lanes and protect highways workers.
The SwiftGate system is up and running in five minutes. In contrast, it takes 25 minutes for road workers to put out the taper of cones directing fast-moving traffic away from a live lane.
Where are SwiftGates in use?
SwiftGates are in use at the A3 Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey after National Highways teamed up with Kier and Highway Care to trial the automated taper gates.
The barriers safely filter vehicles out of the traffic lane and cones. Then, workers can place cones beyond the taper to clearly mark out the closed-off lane.
As well as avoiding the need for workers to manually set out tapers, the gates are a strong visual deterrent that will help avoid incursions by drivers into working areas.
Martin Bolt, Head of Lean and Continuous Improvement for National Highways, said: “Installing and removing a taper of cones in the face of traffic exposes our road workers to risk, particularly on elevated sections of road, bridges or tunnels where there may not be an embankment or place of safety.
“If successful, SwiftGate is another step to zero live lane working for our workforce as we work towards our goal of ensuring nobody is harmed while working or travelling on our roads.”
Kier Highways Senior Project Manager Mark Sheppard added: “The SwiftGate project will give us a great opportunity to trial something that is completely new to the National Highways network, that will modernise the standard approach to road worker protection.
“Traffic management installation can be a high-risk activity, so the opportunity to introduce an automatic solution that has the potential to remove the need to put our workforce in the ‘firing-line’, is a worthy project.”
Improving the safety of traffic management
Highway Care Business Development Director Ben Duncker said: “We are confident that the system will be a success in not only improving the safety of our traffic management operatives but also improving customer journeys through the faster and more efficient closing and reopening of lanes.
“Safety through innovation is our priority and the ability to trial such new solutions with National Highways is a testament to their commitment to making the roads safer for all users.”
See the gates in action.