Following the Westminster Bridge terror attack in 2017, during which a terrorist killed four people using a vehicle, it has become clear that bridges are vulnerable to vehicle as a weapon attacks. The decision was taken, therefore, to install hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) to protect pedestrians using Hampton Court Bridge.
Hampton Court Bridge is a Grade II listed structure that crosses the River Thames at Esher, Surrey. It leads to Hampton Court Palace; the 500-year-old Grade I listed royal palace and visitor attraction. The intention was to install permanent HVM on both sides of the road and at each end of the bridge, protecting pedestrians walking towards or away from the palace.
The client commissioned a permanent HVM system, manufactured by Crowdguard’s partner, ATG Access, which involved design, planning and manufacture of the chosen solution. As this meant unavoidable delays in mitigating risk, Crowdguard was asked to specify and deploy a temporary HVM system as an interim measure to ensure effective risk mitigation as soon as possible.
Crowdguard installed the ATG Access Surface Guard system at each end of the bridge on both sides of the road, comprising four locations and 28 Surface Guard units, totalling c.30 metres. The configuration enabled the road across the bridge to remain open to traffic, while protecting the pavement areas the entire length of the bridge from vehicle incursions.
The temporary HVM system remained in place for seven months, and has now been de-rigged by the Crowdguard team to enable civils works for the permanent system to be carried out. The project provides an example of how effectively temporary HVM can be used as an interim measure while the design, planning and manufacture of a permanent system is carried out. Temporary HVM solutions can also provide an ideal way of considering operational factors and consulting with stakeholders as part of a feasibility study, prior to installation of a permanent solution.