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Concrete barriers – everything you need to know

Concrete barriers are a popular choice of solution when it comes to heavy duty protection and security. Weighing in at over two tonnes, they can only be moved with the use of specialist equipment and these immovable objects are at the forefront of traffic safety products. 12.7% of the UK’s most famous road, the M25, is delineated with concrete barriers. But what exactly are they? What do they do, and how effective are they? Our handy guide tells you everything you need to know.

1. What are concrete barriers?

Concrete barriers are rigid structures made of concrete that are used to separate and protect areas, control traffic flow, and provide safety in various settings, such as roadways, construction sites, events, and more.

2. What are the different types of concrete barriers?

There are several types of concrete barriers, including F-shaped barriers, Jersey barriers, temporary concrete barriers (TVCB), and more. These barriers vary in design and purpose, with some being more suitable for traffic control, while others are used for anti-vehicle protection.

3. What are f-shaped barriers?

F-shaped barriers look quite similar to Jersey barriers. Oddly enough, the barriers are shaped more like a T. The name is taken from the various versions of barriers that were created using computer simulations (from A through F). The results showed that ‘F’ performed better and became the barriers name.

4. What are the benefits of using concrete barriers?

Concrete barriers offer numerous benefits, including enhanced safety for drivers and pedestrians, effective traffic control, protection against errant vehicles, durability, and the ability to withstand various weather conditions.

5. Where are concrete barriers commonly used?

Concrete barriers are commonly used in various settings, such as highways, roads, bridges, construction sites, toll booths, military installations, event venues, and other areas where separation, protection, and traffic control are required.

6. How are concrete barriers installed?

Concrete barriers are typically installed using heavy equipment, such as cranes or specialized barrier-laying machines. The barriers are lifted into place and secured to the ground using bolts, connectors, or other attachment methods.

7. Can concrete barriers be moved or repositioned?

While some concrete barriers are designed to be temporary and can be moved to different locations, most standard concrete barriers are not easily repositioned due to their weight and size. Temporary barriers such as Jersey Barriers or TVCBs are relatively straight forward to install, however larger concrete blocks require specialist machinery to be installed.

8. What is the purpose of concrete barriers on construction sites?

In construction zones, concrete barriers provide safety for workers and drivers by separating the construction area from the active traffic lanes. They prevent vehicles from entering the work zone and reduce the risk of accidents.

9. How do concrete barriers enhance road safety?

Concrete barriers serve as a protective barrier between opposing lanes of traffic, reducing the likelihood of head-on collisions. They also prevent vehicles from leaving the road and entering potentially hazardous areas. The barriers have been subject to crash testing which identifies how they will respond when hit by a vehicle travelling at speed.  Safe Site’s TVCB barriers feature the following standards: BS EN1317 N1 50 MPH and N2 70 MPH.

10. Can concrete barriers be customized or modified?

Concrete barriers can be customized to some extent by adding reflective markings, signage, or paint for visibility. However, major modifications to the design may require specialized engineering and testing.

11. Are concrete barriers environmentally friendly?

Concrete barriers can be manufactured with consideration for environmental impact, using eco-friendly additives or recycling methods. However, the overall environmental impact may vary based on production methods and disposal practices.

12. How long do concrete barriers last?

If concrete is weatherproofed, it has the ability to last for decades – even up to a century. The lifespan of concrete barriers depends on factors such as the quality of construction, exposure to weather conditions, and maintenance. In general, well-constructed concrete barriers can last for many years.

13. Are there regulations and standards for concrete barrier design and placement?

Our concrete barriers are fully compliant with UK Chapter 8 regulations and European standards, governing the use, deployment and standards of concrete  barriers on roads and highways.  This code of practice establishes to ensure safety and consistency. Specific information and regulations may vary by location, so it’s essential to consult local authorities or transportation departments for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding concrete barriers

14. What can I do with barriers once I’ve finished with them?

If you only need the barriers for a matter of months, you may prefer to hire them. Safe Site offer barriers to purchase, hire on sell with a buy back option. We offer this on the majority of our projects and it’s a great option. Buy back means that you can buy the product out right, but sell it back to us in favour moving to another project, or costly storage.

15. Do concrete barriers come in different colours?

Whilst the base colour of concrete barriers is grey, they are easy to personalise. Simply paint the barriers to match the colour scheme of your site. Safe Site offer this as an option, as well as installation.

16. Can you stack concrete barriers?

Concrete blocks can be stacked to create retaining walls or useful constructions such as grain stores.  Legato blocks are renowned for their suitability for stacking and come in various shapes and sizes.

17. Can you use concrete barriers with mesh fence?

TVCB barriers can be used in conjunction with mesh fence and gates.

18. Is it possible to buy second-hand or used concrete barriers?

Various companies, such as Safe Site have used concrete barriers in stock and available for hire or purchase.


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