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    Bollard Regulations UK

    BFT driveway bollard

    Installing a driveway bollard is one of the best security measures that you could take to properly and robustly secure your car, to prevent or deter theft. One thing that you might not know about driveway bollards is the vast array of laws and regulations that govern their installation and deployment, even within your own home or private property. So, what are the local regulations that rule over the installation of a driveway bollard here in the UK?

    Well, let’s try to break this one by one, starting with whether or not you’ll ever need any planning permission to install a driveway bollard.

    1. Do You Need To Get Any Planning Permission?

    Typically, you won’t need any planning permission if you’re trying to install driveway bollards within private property. Therefore, for homeowners who want to install a driveway bollard or two to cover their driveway, as long as it’s on your own property, the process should be relatively straightforward.
    Nonetheless, whether or not you’d need to apply for any planning permission will vary if it’s not on your own property.

    • Now, if your property is listed or is located within a conservation area, you’re likely going to need planning permission to install a driveway bollard. The latter is crucial, as these areas are subject to stricter rules and controls, aimed to protect and preserve the property’s historical or architectural significance. For example, imagine trying to install a driveway bollard around a historical building or an archaeological excavation site.
    • A good rule of thumb is to always check with your local planning authority or council before proceeding with installing bollards around the property. They’ll be able to provide specific guidance and rules on whether you will require planning permission, as well as additional guidelines for preserving the aesthetic and structural integrity of the property.
    • Speaking of, local town or village councils may have their own set of bollard regulations governing their use or installation. It’s a good idea to consult them prior to installation if you need to understand specific restrictions or requirements that might apply in your local area. Usually, councils might offer advice on the acceptable types, heights, and placements of driveway bollards, ensuring that they’re compliant.

    2. The Highways Act 1980 And The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984

    This is probably not going to be relevant to all you homeowners out there who just want to install a set of driveway bollards around your home or driveway, but just in case, it’s worth bearing in mind any potential obstruction of public walkways or spaces.

    Bollards must never obstruct public footpaths, sidewalks, or roads. This is a vital piece of consideration if you’re installing a set of bollards, ensuring that you won’t interfere with either pedestrian or vehicular traffic. In other words, the placement of these bollards should guarantee that there’s ample space for pedestrians to be able to pass safely. This is particularly so for folks with physical disabilities.

    Concerning the installation of a bollard or two, there are two important pieces of regulations here in the UK… The Highways Act 1980, and the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, respectively. Here’s what they entail, and why it matters if you’re installing a driveway bollard:

    Highways Act 1980:

    The purpose of the Highways Act 1980 is to consolidate highway and roadway regulations in both England and Wales.

    This act matters if you’re installing bollards near public highways. In short, it ensures that the placement of those bollards isn’t going to obstruct highways or footpaths. This act also provides guidelines and specific instructions concerning the installation and maintenance of street fixtures, including bollards.

    Moreover, this act outlines what constitutes an obstruction (such as a bollard that is blocking a footpath), and the legal implications against you for non-compliance.

    Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984:

    • Superseding the older Road Traffic Regulation Act 1967, the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 is a much more comprehensive legislation that aims to thoroughly regulate road traffic. For us, the relevant parts here include the management and control of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, with the relevant regulatory framework.
    • This act is equally as relevant as the Highways Act 1980, given that it includes the creation of TROs (aka traffic regulation orders), which encompasses restrictions and guidance on the placement of obstructions on public roads and footpaths. As such, bollards fall under this regulation.
    • Local authorities rely on this act to implement traffic management measures and manage road obstructions, which include bollards, too. In so doing, they’re able to ensure that bollards don’t impede traffic flow and are installed/placed safely and are based on the relevant accessibility guidelines.

    3. Are There Building Regulations To Be Wary Of?

    Another thing you need to be diligent about when installing driveway bollards is making serious alterations to your driveway. It’s worth bearing in mind that significant changes to your driveway, which can impact all your immediate surrounding areas, may require compliance with building regulations. As tedious as it may be, it’s a good thing, as these building regulations guarantee that changes made are done safely and are structurally sound.

    In our experience, we know that installing driveway bollards as an entirety requires relatively minimal construction. But, a lot of the time, some of the installation procedures may require extensive groundwork to be done. For instance, if you’re installing an automated, electro-mechanical driveway bollard, a trench needs to be dug under your driveway, allowing piping to be laid in place and wiring or cables to run through them, all the way to your home. So, it’s a good idea to check if building regulations apply.

    This isn’t something most regular homeowners are aware of, so we’d suggest consulting with a surveyor or a building professional to provide you with added clarity on whether a driveway bollard installation needs to adhere to any specific building regulations. Additionally, they could also advise you on the best practices for installing a driveway bollard or two, ensuring both safety and legal compliance. At Bollard Security, you could also contact us (more at the end of the article) if you need some help on where to get started.

    4. Do Safety Standards Play A Role In Installing A Bollard?

    For optimal results and peace of mind, there are several safety standards and guidelines that you ought to take into consideration when shopping for and installing driveway bollards around your home.

    First up, there’s the impact resistance and strength of those aforementioned driveway bollards:

    • Bollards should be strong enough to be able to stop a vehicle, particularly for security purposes. This is vital for preventing unauthorised access to your driveway, and protecting your property from vehicle-related attacks or damage.
    • Of course, the strength and durability of the bollards don’t apply the same way to every user. If you’re just a regular homeowner who needs a good enough bollard to stop thieves from driving off with your car, or if you want to prevent unwanted visitors from parking on your driveway, you won’t need strong anti-ram properties.
    • But, if you’re installing bollards to protect a commercial property or business assets, as well as high-risk areas where vehicle access needs to be highly controlled, you’ll want something more heavy-duty. At Bollard Security, we’ve serviced residential, commercial, and industrial clients, so we have bollards for any occasion.

    In addition, it’s a good idea to ensure that the bollards you’re buying are in compliance with recognised security standards:

    • The PAS 68 or IWA 14-1 are internationally recognised standards for impact resistance. These guarantee that you’re installing bollards that have been tested for their ability to withstand impacts from vehicles.
    • Meanwhile, at Bollard Security, we offer driveway bollards that feature Sold Secure accreditation (up to Gold for some of our bollards, the highest grading available), as well as the Secure by Design (SBD) security standard.
    • These security certificates ensure a higher level of security and effectiveness in protecting your property. It might not be relevant if you need a simple driveway bollard, but for high-security areas and commercial clients, they can make a difference.

    And while we’re here, the visibility of those driveway bollards that you’re installing should be considered, too:

    • Bollards should be clearly visible to prevent accidents, ensuring that both pedestrians and drivers can easily spot them, even in the dark. As expected, collisions are more likely at night or in low-light conditions.
    • This can be done by utilising reflective materials on driveway bollards to improve their visibility. Oftentimes, it involves adding reflective strips or coatings that can catch headlights and streetlights, making them way more noticeable, even from a distance.
    • It could also help to add additional lighting around the driveway bollards if you need to further enhance their visibility. Something simple like solar-powered or low-energy LED lamps is pretty effective at illuminating the area around your driveway bollards. And, they won’t incur high energy costs, as well.
    • Additionally, you could even consider the design and colour of those driveway bollards. Most of the bollards that we install are bare metal, but you could have them painted in bright colours and vibrant designs that make them stand out more.
    • However, just make sure that the design, colours, or placement of your driveway bollards don’t create any visual clutter or visible confusion. This has the opposite effect, possibly leading to more collisions or accidents.

    5. How Do You Space Out Driveway Bollards?

    As we noted earlier, there are regulatory considerations when it comes to spacing out your driveway bollards. You just need to make sure you don’t impede and obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Therefore, you need adequate spacing between your bollards to allow for free-flowing movement. There are two general spacing guides you need to take into account:

    Pedestrian Access:

    • Driveway bollards should be spaced widely enough to ease passage for pedestrians, particularly for folks with physical disabilities. Typically, the recommended minimum distance between bollards should be at least 1.2 metres, which helps to accommodate wheelchair users.
    • In addition to wheelchairs, this minimum spacing distance also enables prams, bicycles, and personal mobility vehicles to pass through without obstruction.

    Vehicular Access:

    • When it comes to preventing vehicle access – i.e. preventing your car from being stolen and driven off your driveway, or making sure unwanted guests don’t park in your driveway – the bollards should be spaced closely enough to block vehicles. But, it should also be far enough apart to allow pedestrian access, too.
    • A good guideline should be to place your driveway bollards around 1.2 metres apart. This should be more than enough to prevent most cars, even smaller ones, from driving through. For most homeowners who need to safeguard a single-car driveway, this spacing should be sufficient.

    All in all, this should give you a quick but thorough rundown of the driveway bollard regulations here in the UK. If you’re still unsure about where to get started with fitting driveway bollards, you’re in luck! We have over 15 years of experience with installing and maintaining security solutions across the UK, and we’ve gone through enough red tape to advise you on what you need to know. So, don’t hesitate to contact us at 01535 920362 for recommendations and tips on the best driveway bollards for you.