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A new lightweight, temporary alternative to traditional barriers made from concrete or steel blocks was recently deployed to protect fans from vehicle-led terrorist attacks has been installed at the UK Burnley and Manchester United football stadiums. The Surface Guard is a modular barrier system equipped with digital accessories that can turn it into a safe-city technology.

Created by ATG Access, it is a reinforced-metal barrier comprising ramped segments with fins that can be connected to span the width of any street. It can then be easily broken down and stacked for transportation. Installation on a standard-sized road can be completed in 40 minutes with the help of four workers, omitting the assistance of fork lift trucks.

For additional value, the Surface Guard can be further accessorised with footfall counting devices, LED lighting and advertising/sponsorship or information panels, according to the company website.

Allowing pedestrian, wheelchair, buggy and cyclist access, the barriers can be also be fitted with a special access point for emergency vehicles, according to dezeen.com. The barriers were developed to adapt to changes in road level caused by kerbs or central reservations, making them suitable for use across a variety of sites.

The firm said the system has been designed “to avoid an unfriendly or menacing feel”, echoing the sentiments of Stefano Boeri, the Italian architect who recently proposed that trees and bulky planters should be used to prevent vehicle terror attacks instead of intimidating military-style barricades.

Successfully tested to the IWA 14 impact test standard, the Surface Guard system has been tested twice. The system successfully stopped a 2,500 kg vehicle travelling at 30 mph and a 7,200 kg vehicle travelling at 32 kph.