Anti Terror Barriers Protect the Lord Mayor’s Show

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Anti Terror Barriers Protect the Lord Mayor’s Show

The City of London source anti-terror barriers to protect their bridges from vehicle as a weapon style attacks.

Project Background:

To mark the end of the Lord Mayor’s Show and to signify the beginning of the new mayoral year, a spectacular fireworks display is launched over the River Thames in London.

Over 50,000 visitors crowd onto Waterloo Bridge each year to watch this fantastic display. This remains one of the oldest ceremonies in London. This year’s new Lord Mayor is the 690th to be sworn in.

With such a large number of people congregating into one confined area, each end of Waterloo Bridge required anti-terror barriers. The aim was to ensure that a hostile vehicle was unable to penetrate the area where the crowds stood.


Anti-terror barriers were required at both the North and South side of the bridge to complement the bridge wide road closure. The bridge has a dual carriageway on either side and so four lanes in total, plus the pavements on either side. The entire carriageway and pavement were needing to be secured. The protective measures needed to be pedestrian permeable so as not to disrupt foot fall to the bridge.

Project Scope:

The City of London approached ATG Access for advice on a temporary, pedestrian permeable solution for the event. Working alongside the City of London, the Highways team, the Police and also the event organiser; ATG Access attended site to survey the bridge and take initial measurements.

The Surface Guard system was proposed as the most appropriate security measure and approved amongst stakeholders involved with the project. The system is very easy to deploy, remove and can cope with existing street furniture items, changes in levels and road cambers.

Working with ATG’s installation partner, Stadium TM and the event organiser, the team had a very narrow window of time to drop-off and then deploy the kit. The time period available ran between the beginning of the road closure and the beginning of the fireworks show, in total just one and a half hours.

The team were successful and completed the installation in the required time frame. Both ends of the busy bridge were fully secured for the fireworks display. The general public moved through the barriers with ease. Wheelchairs, double buggies and motorised scooters were all passing through the system successfully.

In terms of the system installation itself, in addition to the logistical challenges, there were a number of other conditions which needed to be considered during the installation. The Surface Guard units were required to secure both the road and the pavement meaning that there was a change in level to accommodate as well as a road camber. Due to the systems modularity, these two conditions were easy to plan for and accommodate.

On the North side of the bridge, there is a central reservation with existing street furniture installed – pedestrian railings. The Surface Guard system was able to be installed around this existing item creating a fantastic end result.  The event finished before 6 pm and the system was removed the very same evening. The bridge was restored to be fully operational and the general public dispersed.

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