How much distance should there be between bollards?
If you’re looking to install a bollard outside your home or business, spacing is an important factor to consider. Depending on the purpose and function of your bollards, knowing how far apart they should be from one another can be essential to get right. If the gap between your bollards is too big or too small, you could end up compromising their effectiveness and leaving your property unprotected.
In this guide, we’ll be talking through everything you need to know about bollard spacing to make sure they’re the optimum distance apart to guarantee maximum security.
Bollard spacing: what are the recommendations?
The recommended distance between bollards depends primarily on what the intended function of the bollards is. In this section, we'll explain the recommended spacing for each application.
Before you set about installing your bollards, barriers or parking posts, you’ll need to think carefully about what their ultimate purpose is in order to ensure that there is just the right amount of space between each one.
Bollards are one of the best ways to protect your high-value assets, but it’s important to get their spacing right in order to maximise their effectiveness.
Instances where you might find bollards for asset protection purposes are beside cash-points, inside retail spaces our around electrical boxes - basically, any situation where there is a need to prevent people from gaining access to a small area or to alert them to the presence of a hazardous object.
Generally, asset protection bollards are needed to restrict both pedestrian and vehicular traffic from accessing a specific area, so there shouldn’t be a lot of space between each one. If there are a lot of fast-moving vehicles in the immediate area, your bollards should be close together to create the strongest possible barrier. They should also be relatively close to the asset you’re trying to protect but not so close that the bollards themselves could end up damaging the asset on impact if they are hit by a vehicle travelling at speed.
Protecting a building, whether it’s your home, office block or retail space, is often best done with bollards. When choosing where to install bollards that are going to be used for this purpose, thinking about how much space to leave between each one is vital.
If you want to use parking bollards to protect your home, you’ll want to make sure that there isn’t enough room for a vehicle to pass through. You’ll also want to ensure that there is still enough space for you to walk through easily. For this purpose, telescopic bollards are generally the most popular option as they can be raised and lowered with ease whenever you need to come and go.
If you want to use bollards to protect your business or store front, there should be no less than a metre between each one so as to allow pedestrians to pass through easily and enter your business premises without difficultly. This distance should not be more than 1.5m, though, otherwise vehicles could be able to drive through and ram directly into your property. Anti-ram bollards are the best for protecting the front of shops as they are strength-tested especially to withstand impact from vehicles travelling at speed.
For schools and universities, bollards are often placed around the entrances of buildings to protect pedestrians from vehicles.
Removable bollards are great for this type of application. They can allow delivery and emergency vehicles to pass through when necessary whilst preventing access for other vehicles. Hooped barriers are a great alternative for this application, not just for added security but to give staff and students areas to place their bicycles.
Like other areas with pedestrian traffic, these bollards need to have between 1m and 1.5m of space between them.
Bollards can also be used to enhance the aesthetic of an outdoor space, offering a great architectural accent with built-in protection for landmarks. When used for decorative purposes, bollards serve as more of a visual guide for pedestrians, showing them clearly which the recommended walking route to take is. This can help to prevent people from walking too close to things like statues, bodies of water and non-pedestrian zones.
Decorative bollards can also act as a wayfinding aid to make things like queuing easier to manage. This function can be enhanced with the addition of chains or ropes between each bollard to prevent people from moving freely between each post.
Because decorative bollards aren’t so much of a security feature, the recommendations for distance between them are less prescriptive. You can place them as close together or as far apart as you like, depending on the overall design scheme of the area into which they are being installed.
Car park safety
Car parks are often very congested areas that need proper traffic control which is where parking bollards come in. They can help to demarcate entry and exit lanes, effectively preventing vehicles from using the wrong lanes and worsening congestion.
If these bollards are used for lane delineation in a car park, then bollard spacing can be flexible, as pedestrians won't need to use the area.
If these bollards are used to mark a pedestrian crossing, then they will need to follow the standard bollard spacing rules. This means they will need to be spaced between 1m and 1.5m apart.
Cyclist protection and lane delineation
Cycling lanes are often not enough to protect cyclists, as there is nothing stopping cars from going into these lanes. This is where lane delineators come into play, as they are bollards that stop vehicles from entering certain lanes.
They are normally placed about 15m apart from one another on long, straight roads and 1.5m apart on curves and intersections. These areas are where cyclists are most at risk, and so they need to be closer together in order to provide added protection against vehicles.
Illuminated bollards can also be used to improve visibility for drivers at night, especially in areas which have large numbers of accidents involving cyclists or in zones with limited street lighting.
Loading dock security
Truck drivers often need to reverse into loading docks, and it can sometimes be difficult for them to judge distances correctly. Loading dock security bollards are brightly coloured bollards that are placed on either side of a loading bay to help with a driver's spatial awareness so they don't reverse into the building accidentally.
These bollards are normally placed about 15cm from the side of a loading dock opening so that they can be seen in a side mirror.
Pavement safety and traffic calming
Traffic calming street bollards are the most commonly used bollards. They are used to protect pedestrians from vehicles near pedestrian crossings.
They are usually placed 45cm away from a curb and need to be spaced between 1m and 1.5m apart. This is the perfect amount of space to make it easy for pedestrians to pass between them easily without causing difficulties for wheelchair users and parents with young children or prams.
What is the minimum distance between bollards?
If bollards are being used to control pedestrian flow, the minimum distance between them must still allow for people to walk through whether on foot or in a wheelchair. Generally, the minimum distance in instances such as this is 1m, any less and people with reduced mobility or walking with buggies could be unable to pass through.
What is the maximum distance between bollards?
If bollards are being used to restrict vehicular access, they need to be close enough together to prevent cars from driving between them. This means that they need to have a maximum distance of 1.5m between each bollard. If bollards aren’t being used to prevent vehicles but are solely for architectural or decorative purposes, there isn’t a maximum distance that’s recommended.
Do you need planning permission for bollards?
If bollards are going to be installed on private property such as your home or business premises, you won’t need planning permission. If bollards are going to be placed on public land, such as the pavement outside a shop or in pedestrianised areas, you will need planning permission before installing them. Failure to obtain permission prior to installing bollards in public places could result in them being removed.