Our Comprehensive Guide to Bollard Spacing

Bollards are a highly effective way to regulate traffic, protect property, and prevent unauthorised access to a site but their efficacy is dependent on their spacing and installation. As well as selecting the right type of bollard for the environment and application, it’s vital to ensure that effective installation procedures are used and that the bollards are situated appropriately. In this article, we take a closer look at where bollards should be placed for maximum effectiveness, as well as the factors to take into account when planning an installation.

bollard spacing

Where Should Bollards Be Placed: Purpose and Application

Before you consider where bollards should be placed, be sure to identify their purpose and application. Are you using bollards to protect a building from a physical threat, for example? Alternatively, do you want to use bollards to prevent people from parking in unauthorised areas? Maybe you’re planning on using bollards to control pedestrian traffic or perhaps you simply want to protect your property with visible deterrents.

Whatever the purpose of the new bollard installation, keep this at the forefront of your mind when you’re assessing where bollards should be placed. By doing so, you can ensure that the new installation serves its intended purpose and provides the enhanced security or functionality you need.

For more information about the installation process, check out our step-by-step guide on how to install bollards.

Residential vs Commercial Bollards

Every installation is different and should be planned carefully to ensure optimal positioning but there are notable differences between residential and commercial applications.

Residential Bollards

When you’re installing bollards on residential land, for example, you’re likely to be less concerned about the impact on pedestrian traffic or vehicle regulation and more focused on preventing unauthorised access to your property.

Residential bollards are frequently used to prevent other people from accessing private driveways. This ensures that no-one can park on your drive, but bollards can also be used to deter would-be thieves from attempting to steal your vehicle when it’s parked on your driveway.

If you want to install bollards for this reason, then consider how the placement of the bollards will affect your own use of the land. Static bollards positioned at regular intervals across the front of a driveway may prevent unauthorised personnel from gaining access, but they will prevent you from parking on your drive too!

Alternatively, telescopic (retractable) bollards or fold-down bollards can be a better choice for driveway protection. With retractable or fold-down posts, you can access the driveway as needed, while preventing unauthorised access. Furthermore, reinstating the bollards once you’ve parked your vehicle will prevent anyone from driving it away without your consent.

In addition to this, you can place retractable or fold-down bollards closer together across the front of your drive to maximise their effectiveness, without limiting the impact they have on your own access to your property. Generally, bollards with a 1.3 – 1.5 metre air gap (space between bollards) are sufficient for use on residential driveways.

Commercial Bollards

Commercial bollards may be used to serve a variety of purposes, including traffic calming, pedestrian management, building protection, and even protection from terror attacks. Due to this, more careful analysis is typically required when you’re wondering where bollards need to be placed.

Even installation is unique so custom planning should be undertaken before the bollards are fixed into place. However, there are general guidelines you can follow to help you determine where bollards should be placed.

Protecting Your Premises

If you’re using bollards to protect a building from a potential vehicular attack, then a maximum gap of 1.2 metres should be used to ensure optimal performance. Additionally, you’ll need to choose bollards that offer enhanced strength and durability, such as steel bollards.

Controlling Vehicular Traffic

If vehicles regularly park on unauthorised areas, such as pavements, bollards can be a simple yet effective way to prevent them from doing so. Here, gaps of 1.2 – 1.3 metres should be sufficient to deter drivers while minimising the impact on pedestrians.

Regulating Parking Areas

If unauthorised vehicles are using your car park, you can rely on bollards to protect the area. From perimeter bollards that prevent access to the entire site or individual bollards that prevent unauthorised access to particular car parking spaces, there are various ways to ensure that no-one can gain access without your permission.

The average car parking space is 2.4 metres wide, and a central bollard placed at the 1.2 metre mark will ensure that no-one can access the space, although you’ll need to install retractable or fold-down bollards to make sure authorised vehicles can still gain access!

Alternatively, retractable and/or electronic perimeter bollards can be spaced at 1.2 – 1.3. metre intervals so that unauthorised vehicles cannot drive through them but authorised vehicles can gain access to the site.

Managing Pedestrian Traffic

If you want to use bollards to manage the flow of pedestrian traffic on your site, careful consideration must be given to how the placement will impact pedestrian safety and behaviour. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the placement of the bollards will not infringe on the rights of people with disabilities.

Typically, bollards should be placed perpendicular to the regular flow of pedestrian traffic and situated no more than 1.2 metres apart for optimal performance.

Regulatory Compliance

When you’re installing bollards on private land, you have more freedom regarding their placement. If you want to install bollards on public land, however, you’ll need to consider the need for planning permissions and the regulatory guidance set out by the Department of Transport, such as:

  • If protecting an entrance or exit, the total width of the bollards should be wider than the protected entry point.
  • Bollards should be placed with a maximum of 1.2 metres space between each bollard.
  • Avoid placing bollards at ‘pinch points’, such as narrow passageways.
  • The height and visibility of bollards should be considered.

Once installed, it’s also imperative that you maintain your bollards properly to ensure they stand the test of time.

Placing and Installing Bollards for Optimal Performance

At Bison Security, we’re dedicated to helping our clients find the best solutions for their security needs. For assistance with bollard spacing and placement or to learn more about our professional installation service, get in touch with our team now on 01708 956833 or fill out our simple contact form.