Understanding the Different Types of Bollards and Their Uses


Bollards are versatile security tools installed across many sites in the UK, from commercial zones to residential driveways. But with so many design variations, how do you determine the right bollard type for your needs?

By understanding the unique functionalities of different bollard categories, you can select the optimal fixtures for your location.

Fixed Bollards

Fixed bollards are permanently installed in place to create continuous barriers against unauthorised vehicle access. They are constructed from sturdy materials like concrete, steel or iron.

Fixed bollards provide reliable 24/7 security but lack flexibility for allowing certain access when needed. They are ideal for high-security sites like government buildings.

Retractable Bollards

Retractable bollards can be lowered flush into the ground to allow temporary access, then raised back into blocking position. Remote controls, keypads or card readers activate the lowering mechanism.

These automated bollards enable flexible access control at stadiums, parking facilities and gated communities. Sturdy steel or hydraulic varieties withstand vehicle impact when raised.

Rising Bollards

Rising bollards remain hidden below ground until activated when needed. Their pop-up mechanism creates an unexpected barricade, instantly blocking unauthorised vehicles.

Installing automatic rising bollards on public sidewalks or near building entryways provides on-demand protection while maintaining clean sightlines when not raised.

Decorative Bollards

Decorative bollards incorporate aesthetic enhancements like colourful patterns, sleek designs or ornamental detailing. Properties can utilise these more attractive fixtures to divert vehicles and enhance visual appeal.

Decorative bollards blend security with landscape design at landmarks, corporate campuses and outdoor shopping centres. Cast iron is a common traditional material.

Safety & Barrier Bollards

Safety and barrier bollards create protective buffers between vehicles and pedestrians. Flexible plastic bollards minimise damage from accidental bumps in parking garages or loading areas.

Concrete varieties placed along roadsides divert oncoming traffic away from hazards. Welded metal barriers guard inventory stored outdoors at industrial sites.

Illuminated Bollards

Illuminated bollards integrate internal or external lighting elements for increased visibility and ambiance. LEDs or small flood lights can be embedded within clear acrylic or glass fixtures.

Lighted bollards illuminate pathways at night across municipal parks, hospital grounds and other public spaces in the UK.

Traffic & Parking Bollards

Traffic and parking bollards direct the circulation of cars and prevent illegal parking. Flexibly hinged rubber, plastic or metal posts block certain lanes or sections of a parking lot when needed.

Bright colours and reflective strips enhance their visibility to drivers. These removable bollards are ideal for events requiring temporary parking changes.

Security Ratings

Hostile vehicle mitigation bollards receive security ratings indicating the impact forces they can withstand. Common ratings are PAS 68 and IWA 14 for blast resistance.

Selecting bollards certified for higher security ratings ensures optimal defence at critical infrastructure sites like government embassies.

With knowledge on the diverse bollard types available, public and private sector managers can implement these protective fixtures in a customised way across UK sites. The right bollard solutions can harmonise effective security with both aesthetic appeal and practical functionality.


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