The SwiftGate sysem can be fully deployed in five minutes compared to the 25 minutes it takes road workers to put out the taper of cones directing often fast-moving traffic away from a live lane.
SwiftGate is being installed 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 can then be put out 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 which 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.”
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.”