Super swift gates to be trialled on National Highways network

Super swift gates, which automatically close off lanes, are set to be trialled across the National Highways network. 

This will save workers from having to put out cones in the face of oncoming traffic. Instead, this automatic taper will close off lanes within minutes. 

SwiftGate can be fully deployed in 5 minutes, compared to the 25 minutes it would take workers on a live lane. During 2019, 14 vehicle incursions occurred into roadworks, putting the lives of workers at risk. 

SwiftGate is being installed at the A3 Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey, which is regularly undergoing maintenance work. National Highways has teamed up with Kier and Highway Care for this trial. 

As well as avoiding manually setting out tapers, they act as a strong visual deterrent to help avoid incursions, especially during nighttime hours. 

Martin Bolt, who has been overseeing the innovation, said: “If successful, SwiftGate is another step to zero live lane working for our workforce as we work towards our goal of ensuring nobody is harmed while working or travelling on our roads.”

“The automated tapers free up workers to do other jobs and can be put out in just 50 seconds meaning work can begin straight away with less disruption for road users. We look forward to seeing SwiftGate in action at Hindhead Tunnel.”

This trial is part of the National Highways’ Digital Roads 2025 vision, which will fundamentally change how our roads are designed, built, operated and used. It also focuses on how the growth of digital technologies and electric, connected and autonomous vehicles will create the roads of the future.