The freeway gantry of the future: National Highways says they will be designed to make it harder for eco-zealots to intrude
Protesters will have a harder time scaling freeway gantries built to a new design, National Highways said.
Roadside structures will be “more resistant to intruders” as steps for maintenance crews will be inside the pillars rather than outside, according to the government-owned company.
The gantries above the M25 were repeatedly scaled by Just Stop Oil activists in November last year, bringing traffic to a halt on the UK’s busiest motorway.
The structures are used to display information to drivers, such as speed limits and safety hazard warnings, especially on stretches of “smart” highway with varying speed limits.
The motorway gantry of the future: this design by a London-based architect was chosen by National Highways as part of a competition requesting a redesign of overhead traffic signs
Protesters will have a harder time scaling freeway gantries built using the new design, National Highways said. Pictured: A man believed to be Just Stop Oil protester Alfred Beswick climbed a gantry on the M25 on November 8
National Highways, which is responsible for England’s motorways and main A roads, has held a competition to replace existing designs.
He claimed to have “sought a more streamlined, sleek and consistent visual appearance for road gantries to enhance the public’s driving experience”, saying that existing designs tend to be “heavily designed, with an emphasis on on function rather than form.
The competition was organized by the government agency in conjunction with the Royal Institute of British Architects, with 32 entries from architectural firms across the UK and Europe.
The winning work was produced by London-based company Useful Studio. It was selected for its “simplicity and elegance”.
The gantries will have a lower carbon footprint compared to current designs because they use less steel. Roads Minister Richard Holden said: ‘[Useful Studio’s] innovative approach is intended to improve motorists’ journeys while contributing to a more sustainable future.
Useful Studio will work with National Highways to develop its design concept. It should become the standard design for new gantries within about two years.
National Highways says it was “looking for a more streamlined, sleek and consistent visual appearance for highway gantries to enhance the public’s driving experience.” This is the winning entry penned by Useful Studios
Roadside structures will be ‘more resistant to intruders’ as steps for maintenance crews will be inside pillars rather than outside, says government-owned company
National Highways Executive Director of Operations Duncan Smith said: “This is a great opportunity for us to develop a more streamlined, sleek and consistent visual appearance for highway gantries to improve the experience for drivers when they drive on the motorways and major A roads in England. .
“Existing designs tend to emphasize function over form, our challenge is to create innovative structures that can accommodate required signage and equipment that is more environmentally friendly.
‘In selecting Useful Studio as the winner, the jury admired the simplicity and elegance of the clean design approach, and the opportunities it presented in terms of a resource efficient, standardized and consistent suite of portal structures. which would potentially be sympathetic to a wide range of settings and contexts.