Benefits of ground protection mats

Looking to create a temporary car park? Or perhaps a construction site needs ground protection for its upcoming project? Ground protection mats are an extremely handy solution to preserve and protect the ground in various scenarios. So, what are the benefits of ground protection mats, and why might you need them for your events or street works projects?

What is a ground protection mat?

Ground protection mats, also known as temporary road surfaces or temporary walkways, are employed when an area of grass or other sensitive ground needs to be protected from heavy equipment, or even foot traffic. This makes ground protection mats suitable for temporary car parks, construction sites, temporary pedestrian crossings for street works and events – as well as for use in many other scenarios, such as winter use. During the winter, sites can become boggy and muddy – which is where our ground protection mats are the perfect solution.

Temporary walkways can also be used as zebra crossings for pedestrians or as permanent walkways for street works and utilities, making them equally as useful for managing foot traffic as they are for managing traffic from vehicles.

Benefits of ground protection mats

So, why do you need ground protection mats? As well as being able to protect the ground from foot traffic or vehicles, there are many other benefits of having ground protection mats:

  • Adaptable – ground protection mats are adaptable to various weather conditions, meaning that they are safe to use in wintery and wet conditions, without having to worry about damage to the ground beneath.
  • Easy to clean – plastic ground protection mats are easy to clean from any dirt or gravel.
  • Slip resistant – ground protection mats have a non-slip nature, meaning that they also provide a good grip for vehicles and pedestrians in rainy weather.
  • Durable – made up of high density and durable plastic materials, ground protection mats have an unbreakable nature – meaning trucks and other heavy vehicles can carry heavy loads over them.

Ground protection mats from Oxford Plastics

Here at Oxford Plastics, we provide a wide range of solutions for temporary road surfaces. From our temporary pedestrian walkways, such as the ClearPath Mat, to our ground protection mats including the Enduragrid and Enduramat, browse our full range online today. Alternatively, get in touch with a member of our friendly team for more information about the benefits of ground protection mats.

Composite trench covers vs traditional steel products

Using either steel or composite trench covers to cover bores, trenches or apertures is an effective way of maintaining accessibility to an area. So, why have more countries begun to move over to composite based products as opposed to the traditional steel trench covers? Our detailed guide highlights the benefits of plastic trench covers compared to steel.

What is a trench cover?

The purpose of a trench cover is typically to cover trenches, bores and apertures. This type of cover is generally used during construction, maintenance and repair works. Trench covers are suitable for a number of uses, including domestic, residential, pedestrian, footpath and driveway applications.
A trench cover is an essential component for maintaining accessibility, covering all ranges of holes including wide-trench utility works or for public access. Find out more information about what trench covers are from our ultimate guide to trench covers.

What are the benefits of composite vs traditional steel products?

Composite trench covers were initially designed in order to steer people away from using steel products. However, there are some countries across the globe, such as Germany, who over the past few years have been making the transition to composite trench covers. There are some distinct advantages of composite trench covers – in particular, our range of Low Pro Trench covers – that should be considered when choosing between composite or steel trench covers:

  • Speed of set up – plastic trench covers can be positioned within seconds, with their LowPro edges gripping the asphalt to ensure a solid, stable solution. Steel trench covers, however, are much heavier – so require more manpower to fix these into place, needing either multiple people or machinery to move them.
  • More secure – each of our composite trench covers come with bolt holes to firmly secure the cover to the asphalt.
  •  FlexiEdge technology – our LowPro range comes with Flexi-Edge technology, meaning the products do not need to be bolted unless specified in a SSRA. Some of our covers come with LowPro edges, which grip the asphalt, meaning that bolts are not required in most applications.
  • Stability – a steel trench cover, due to its rigidity, can be a lot less stable than a plastic trench cover – as this can create an uneven surface for vehicles or pedestrians to travel over.
  • Less noise – plastic trench covers are also typically quieter than steel, as steel can create a lot more noise pollution.
  • Visibility – plastic composite products can be easily painted and coloured, so with their high visibility appearance, this ensures they will be seen easily by both pedestrians and drivers.
  • Durability – steel trench covers are likely to bend and degrade after a period of time, whereas, plastic trench covers are much more durable – meaning they will retain their shape and structure for longer.
  • Perfect for emergencies – fitting comfortably into a van, LowPro Trench Covers are perfect for rapid or emergency jobs where a walkway or driveway needs to be made safe.
  • LowPro infills – additionally, our LowPros are a system which can be joined by using the LowPro infills – both long and short ways.

Why choose OPS for trench covers

Here at Oxford Plastics, we pride ourselves on having the history, the expertise and the full, comprehensive range of products that makes us the industry-leading brand that we are. Our range of temporary LowPro Trench Covers are a patented modular solution for the immediate safe covering of trenches up to 900mm wide, with vehicle load bearing up to 3.5 tonnes.

With instructions for use moulded directly into the surface of our HAUC compliant LowPro range, the products lead the way in design, practicality, and safety. Browse our full selection of trench covers online now, choosing from our Low Pro 15/10 trench cover, our Low Pro 11/11 Pedestrian Board or our 12/8 Safe Cover.
For more information on our trench covers, get in touch with a member of our team now.

Ultimate guide to speed bumps

Looking to purchase speed bumps? Or simply want to brush up on your knowledge using our helpful FAQs? Our detailed guide to speed bumps has you covered.

What is a speed bump?

Speed bumps are a traffic calming measure used to slow down the speed of vehicles. These are often used in residential or busy pedestrian areas, such as around schools. They can also be for worksites, or wherever traffic calming measures are required.

Speed bumps FAQs

Why do we have speed bumps?

Speed bumps, as well as other traffic calming measures such as speed cameras and speed control signs, are designed to slow down traffic – improving safety for drivers, pedestrians, passengers and other vehicles on the road.

How tall are speed bumps?

The average height of a speed bump is around 6.5 to 7.5cm, which is recommended by the government. However, in 1999, the Department for Transport set that speed bumps must be a minimum height of 2.5cm and maximum height of 10cm. This then means that drivers must slow down to a speed of around 5mph to navigate a speed bump without damage.

Who invented speed bumps?

Physicist, Arthur Holly Compton, invented ‘traffic control bumps’ in 1953, which are now known as speed bumps. He initially invented these to stop cars speeding when they drove past his university. However, traffic calming first appeared around 1906 in New Jersey, USA – when the average speed of an automobile reached 30mph.

How far apart should speed bumps be placed?

It’s recommended that speed bumps should be placed between 20 metres and 150 metres apart, however, the average spacing is normally around 70 metres apart. It should be noted that the spacing between speed bumps will influence the average speeds of the roads.

What’s the difference between speed bumps and speed humps?

Speed bumps are usually made of plastic or rubber, and are clearly marked with paint so drivers can spot them easily. They are usually as high as 10cm, and are typically used in parking lots, residential areas and private roads – as the height of the speed bump requires a significant reduction in speed.

Speed humps, on the other hand, are the large bumps which span the entire width of the road. Typically covered in tarmac, they appear to be more of a feature of the road. Although their maximum height is the same as speed bumps, typically, they’re not this tall – meaning speed reduction wouldn’t be quite as much as speed bumps.

Applying for speed bumps

Often, people wonder how to get speed bumps installed on their street in the UK. Applying for speed bumps is a process which will involve:

  • Organising your campaign
  • Determining whether speed humps are appropriate for your street
  • Communicating with your local council with your case of why your street should have speed humps
  • Getting your local council to act

For more information, visit your local council’s government website.

Where can I buy speed bumps?

Looking for speed bumps for private road, parking lots or worksite? Wherever traffic calming is required, Oxford Plastic’s EnduraRamp Speed Bumps are the perfect solution. Highly visible in black and yellow coloured material, the EnduraRamp is suitable for up to 44 tonne vehicles – designed to be installed on good condition concrete or asphalt.

For more information on buying speed bumps, get in touch with a member of expert team here at Oxford Plastics. Alternatively, browse our selection of signs, cones and speed bumps.

Guide to trench covers

Used most often in streetworks and to enable pedestrian access, trench covers are a safe solution to main accessibility – whether that’s on a pavement or on the road. But, which safety trench cover should you choose? And what are the different types of plastic trench covers?

What is a trench cover?

A trench cover is intended to cover bores, trenches and apertures. Plastic trench covers are typically used during construction, maintenance and repair works, and are suitable for a variety of uses – ranging from pedestrian and residential use, to driveway and construction. Safety trench covers are designed for maintaining accessibility to an area that has developed a trench or a bore, while keeping pedestrians and vehicles crossing over the trench as safe as possible.

Types of plastic trench covers

Here at Oxford Plastics, we supply a variety of trench covers which suit different requirements, and different size trenches:

  • LowPro 15/10 – anti-slide driveway board suitable for 3.5 tonnes vehicles over a 900mm trench.
  • LowPro 12/8 – anti-slide pedestrian board suitable for 2 tonnes vehicles over a 700mm trench.
  • LowPro 11/11 – anti-slide pedestrian board suitable for 1.6 tonnes vehicle over a 700mm trench.
  • 12/8 Safe Cover – anti-slide pedestrian board suitable for 2 tonnes vehicles over a 700mm trench.
  • 16/12 Safe Cover – driveway board suitable for 2 tonnes vehicles over a 900mm trench.

Which safety trench cover do I need?

When deciding which plastic trench cover you need, firstly, you must identify the size of your trench:

  • Up to 700mm
  • Up to 900mm
  • Up to 1200mm

Next, you will need to determine what kind of traffic will cross over the trench:

  • Pedestrians and light vehicles which might park on the kerb
  • Vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes
  • Vehicles on a carriageway, which can be up to 44 tonnes

Once you’ve determined these elements, you will then be able to identify what type of trench cover or road plate you need. That’s where our handy guide on trench covers comes in. Learn which type of temporary trench cover or road trench cover plate you need now.

Browse our selection of trench covers and road plates online now to find the perfect solution for you. Alternatively, get in touch with a member of our expert team.

Our top 5 road plates and trench covers

Road plates and trench covers are widely used solutions in the construction industry, but which are the best products to use? We’ve put together a guide showing our customer’s favourite products – listed as our top 5 road plate and trench covers performers.

Road plates and trench covers

A road plate is used to cover up temporary excavations or broken areas in the road or pavement, assisting with both vehicle and human traffic flow. Road plates are suitable for use on both regular roads but also carriageways – as they can take the weight of a 44-tonne vehicle.

A trench cover is designed for covering trenches, bores and apertures – usually during maintenance, construction or repair works. Trench covers can be used across many environments, such as pedestrian, residential, domestic, footpath and driveway applications.

Our top 5 performers

1. LowPro 15/10 Trench Cover System

This award-winning trench cover gets number one spot in our top 5 performers. Due to its patented Flexi-Edge technology and its suitability to be a driveway board for 3.5-tonne vehicles over a 900mm trench, it’s easy to see why this product is so popular. This trench cover is tried and tested with lots of major utility companies and contractors including Triio, Wales & West, Cadent, Balfour Beatty and Morrison (to name a few!). And it features anti-slide technology – meaning it’s a reliable cover for many environments. Learn more about the LowPro 15/10 Trench Cover System now.

2. LowPro 15/05 Road Plate

This road plate is a modular system of singular linking units – suitable for 44-tonne vehicles over a 700mm trench. Weighing 44kgs, this is much lighter and easier to handle than a steel plate – making it a popular choice among the construction industry. Again, this product is built with anti-slide technology – made from a soft, flexible, rubber material which reduces unwanted movement. Learn more about the LowPro 15/05 Road Plate now.

3. LowPro 23/05 Road Plate

Another modular system of singular linking units, the LowPro 23/05 is again suitable for 44-tonne vehicles – but this time, over a 1200mm trench. This road plate can be installed manually, and again, features superior anti-slide technology, provide secure access to the surface. Learn more about the LowPro 23/05 Road Plate now.

4. LowPro 11/11 Trench Cover

This type of trench cover says goodbye to bolts, providing a safe, simple and secure solution. With an innovative Flexi-Edge system, this trench does not need to be bolted down – which greatly reduces trip hazards. The key benefit of the 11/11 trench cover is that it’s our lightest cover, making it ideal for quick one-person jobs. Learn more about the LowPro 11/11 Trench Cover now.

5. LowPro 12/8 Safe Cover

A versatile, lightweight solution, this trench cover is suitable for 2-tonne vehicles over a 700mm trench. A great option for pedestrians, this is a safe, simple and strong glass reinforced composite cover. One of the key advantages of this trench cover is that it’s both anti-slip and anti-trip, with chamfered edges to prevent trip hazard. Learn more about the LowPro 12/8 Safe Cover now.

Now you know our top 5 performers, view our range of road plates and trench covers online from Oxford Plastics. For more information, contact a member of our helpful team now.

Ultimate guide to traffic cones

Looking to purchase road cones? Or simply want to brush up on your knowledge on them using our helpful FAQs? Our detailed guide to traffic cones has you covered.

What is a traffic cone?

Traffic cones, also known as road cones, highway cones and safety cones, are cone-shaped markers which are placed on the roads or temporary footpaths in order to redirect traffic in a safe manner. Typical uses of road cones include merging lanes during road construction projects, creating separation between vehicles or to manage vehicle accidents.

What colour are traffic cones?

  • Orange – the most common colour for a road cone, this is the standard highwayman cone – ideal for use in heavy traffic and parking control at events.
  • Yellow & white – indicates that no stopping is allowed – see our No Waiting Cone.
  • Blue & white – indicates that there are overhead structures to be aware of (e.g. bridges and power lines)
  • Green & white – indicates an opening to access lanes (often found on motorways amid roadworks)

Road cones FAQs

How big is a traffic cone?

2-part road cones are usually available in a range of sizes, including 1000mm, 750mm and 500mm.

How tall is a traffic cone?

The height of a traffic cone depends on the mph of the road they are being used on. Road cones must be 450mm or above for road speeds of 30mph – 50mph, but if the road speed is above 50mph, the cone height must be 750mm or above.

What material are traffic cones made of?

Traffic cones were originally made from concrete, while road cones are now more typically made from plastic or rubber. Here at Oxford Plastics, we supply a wide range of plastic road cones – made using 100% recycled plastic.

Can you put traffic cones on the road?

Often, people assume you can use road cones to reserve parking spaces, especially outside their homes. However, this is actually breaking road rules – as blocking the road with traffic cones is dangerous. Traffic cones are used on the roads by a professional company in order to control traffic in a certain way, or alert drivers to hazards up ahead.

Where to buy road cones

Oxford Plastics supply a wide range of road cones to buy – from the No Waiting Cone to the Highwayman Cone.

For more information about our road and traffic cones, get in touch with a member of our expert team. Alternatively, learn how to use signs and road cones for social distancing from our detailed guide.

Guide to Avalon® Barriers

Used most often in streetworks, the Avalon traffic barrier provides both stability and security with an innovative lockable connector – facilitating crowds and road traffic effectively. The perfect solution to crowd control, learn more about our Avalon safety barriers from our ultimate guide today.

What is an Avalon® barrier?

An Avalon safety barrier is our most popular safety barrier. Its popularity comes primarily through its versatility – being suitable for both indoor and outdoor pedestrian applications. Typically, this barrier is used in construction, street works, excavation, utility sites and events, while being extremely easy to use and transport.

Features of Avalon® safety barriers

  • Chapter 8 compliant – this product is compliant with Chapter 8 legislation.
  • Varying widths – Avalon plastic barriers are available in 2m, 1m and 0.5m wide.
  • Locking system – the Avalon traffic barrier has a unique and patented linking system design, which secures joints on uneven ground.
  • 100% recyclable – designed and manufactured in the UK, this product is also recyclable – making it the perfect green solution.

Avalon® safety barrier accessories

  • Ballast – for extra stability, you can also add ballast options for high winds. Try our Ballast Trays, Stability Bar or 1 of our StrongWall bases.
  • Spigot – connect the feet to the barriers, and these are available as spare parts to repair your feet.
  • Barrier feet–our barrier feet – ClearPath Feet or ClearPath Extra Feet – are specially designed to overcome trip hazards for pedestrians.

For more information on our Avalon safety barrier, read through our plastic safety barrier compliance document – which details how to use Ballast Trays, the branding options available for your Avalon Barrier and features more extras and replacement parts.

Interested in learning more about our Oxford Plastic safety barriers? Learn more about our top 5 barriers from this detailed guide. Alternatively, get in touch with a member of our expert team now to enquire about your own Oxford Plastics Avalon barriers.

Ultimate guide to road plates

Need road plates to cover up a temporary excavation, bore hole or trench? Oxford Plastics have you covered. But before you purchase, you might want to understand more about road plates. That’s why we put together this guide on road plates – including how much weight they can hold, whether you should choose steel road plates or plastic road plates, and the different types of road plates you can use.

What are road plates used for?

Road plates are designed to provide a temporary solution for ground excavations or broken road areas where pedestrians, traffic or machinery would need access. They are used in a variety of situations, such as pavement areas as well as carriageways – as heavy-duty road plates also have the ability to take on the weight of a 44-tonne vehicle. Road plates are available to purchase treated with a skid-resistant surface, as well as untreated – depending on the situation that they are required for.

Road plate weight

Our composite road plates from Oxford Plastics can take the weight of a 44-tonne vehicle. However, regarding the weight of the plate itself, typically, this depends on the nominal size thickness of the plate required to cover the excavation whilst maintaining a safe load bearing capacity. However, it’s worth noting that composite road plates are considerably lighter than steel road plates – meaning that they can be manually installed unlike steel plates which require a HIAB or heavy-lifting machinery.

Steel road plates vs plastic road plates

Often when deciding which road plates to use, the question arises whether steel road plates or composite road plates are better. Typically, composite road plates offer many benefits that steel road plates cannot offer – such as stability and even surfaces, less noise pollution than steel road plates and they’re much easier to move due to plastic road plates light weight. Steel plates also tend to bend and warp over time – whereas plastic road plates offer a solution which is much more durable.

For more information, view our guide on steel road plates vs plastic road plates.

Different types of road plates

Here at Oxford Plastics, we offer a variety of road plates to cover temporary excavations. Choose from either our LowPro 15/05 Road plate – a modular road plate for a 700mm trench – or our LowPro 23/05 Road Plate – the same modular road plate but built for a 1200mm trench instead.

For more information on buying road plates and trench covers, get in touch with a member of our expert team.

How Oxford Plastics can Ensure Social Distancing on Campus

All places of education are due to reopen in September and we’re sure at the front of every headteacher, chancellor and local authority’s mind is how to keep students and staff safe and socially distanced on their return.

Although most news coverage has focused on primary and secondary schools, nurseries right through to universities are having to carefully consider the safety of all its learners as well as teaching and support staff.

Universities may well have the hardest job on their hands with substantial student numbers, large lecture groups and a substantial campus area to cover.

UK universities have huge numbers of students; with the top 10 universities all hosting more than 30,000 students each. Trying to communicate effectively with that sheer number of students is a mammoth task, and that’s where Oxford Plastics’ equipment and safety signage proves itself invaluable.

Campus safety

Implementing safety equipment such as our OxfordWall, Lantis Barriers and ClearPath mats can transform a campus overnight and – coupled with our strong signage products – can clearly demonstrate and communicate the proposed route of travel, one-way systems and any areas temporarily cordoned off to ensure student safety and social distancing.

Our product range can be easily installed and configured to minimise the risk of contact, by clearly demarcating safe thoroughfares, reducing congestion in confined areas and blocking unwanted access. These products help to control movement and encourage safe practice.

Communal areas

It’s not only travel around campus that needs to be considered. Communal areas such as union buildings, libraries and halls of residence need clear delineation of travel as well as ensuring minimum distancing is taken into account wherever necessary.

The Lantis Barrier is made of 85% recycled materials and has a soft welcoming aesthetic. Ordinarily used in parades, sporting events and ticketing lines, it’s a versatile solution and replacement to steel pedestrian barriers. During the pandemic, it has found another home by creating safe areas in universities, as well as maintaining social distancing through segmentation of staff and pupils.

Much lighter than steel barricades, the Lantis Barrier weighs just 14 kgs. The easy-carry handles mean installers can carry up to four at a time; ideal for quick roll-out across campus.

Cycling

Students often use bicycles as a fast, affordable and easy way of travelling around campus as well as further afield. However, encouraging greater use of bicycles coupled with reduced thoroughfares could lead to collisions between pedestrians and student cyclists.

Our OxfordWall product can create strong and safe cycle lanes; perfect for campus travel and keeping cyclists separate to students on foot. The barrier can be either sand- or water-filled and is highly visible to road users as well as fast and easy to deploy.

Changes to main thoroughfares

September will see the influx of thousands of new students on campus who – without prior knowledge of routes around the campus – will undoubtedly resort to university maps and original signage. With new measures across the entire site, all students – both old and new – will need to understand where to go in order to get to their lectures, tutor groups and access library resources. Our ClearPath® temporary walkways can clearly guide all students and staff to the new routes proposed across campus to ensure social distancing.

Oxford Plastics has a long-standing and well-proven reputation in giving the best service and providing superior products to its customers. We manufacture intelligently designed, problem-solving products that make spaces safer, more efficient and effective. We produce safe, secure and compliant products, 75% of which are made from recycled plastic and are 95% recyclable.

Learn more about our products and equipment here, or get in contact with us to see how we can help with your requirements.

Why Select Oxford Plastics for your High Street Requirements?

Selecting a supplier for anything can be a challenging process, more so during the COVID-19 pandemic when councils and local authorities have had to quickly select a provider of safety equipment to assist and ensure social distancing measures.

Here we outline the numerous benefits of using Oxford Plastics, with its 35-year experience and UK-manufactured equipment, to implement your COVID-19 social distancing measures:

Expertise

We’ve been doing this for 35 years and have unparalleled knowledge when it comes to equipment, product sets and implementation. We can guide and advise our client base on the most appropriate solution for their needs and be on-hand to provide assistance in the design of the safety solution required.

Easy Installation

Our products are delivered ready to be installed, and many can be transported and installed as and when needed, like our portable one-person SafeGate Barrier. Our equipment is not just designed for its safety qualities, but is often stackable and lightweight to make transportation and installation easier.

Highly Visible

Our product sets are not only designed with safety in mind, they’re also designed to be highly visible in order to make it easier for members of the public to understand and adhere to them, such as the ClearPath® Mat.

In addition, our safety signage can be implemented alongside the equipment to further ensure visibility and comprehension.

Immediately Available

Working in the area of safety equipment and signage, it is crucial that we have our equipment available immediately to clients that have a requirement. Having a long lead time on safety barriers to cordon off a public hazard is unacceptable and as such, we have some of the shortest lead times in the UK, ensuring our clients get exactly what they need when they need it.

Semi-Permanent

The flexibility of our solutions is a significant feature as it can be easily adapted or reconfigured to meet the particular current need.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, this flexibility is proving invaluable as guidance is changing constantly, and town planners and councils need to be able to alter the current layouts easily to adjust the social distancing measures in order to comply with the most recent Government guidance.

UK Manufactured

Oxford Plastics manufactures its products in the UK, which means we have equipment that is immediately available at the point of need. Whilst there were substantial delays across multiple supply chains during the lockdown periods in China and across the world, by having our products manufactured on home soil mean logistical difficulties were minimised.

Oxford Plastics has a long-standing and well-proven reputation in giving the best service and providing superior products to its customers. We manufacture intelligently designed, problem-solving products that make spaces safer, more efficient and effective. We produce safe, secure and compliant products, 75% of which are made from recycled plastic and are 95% recyclable.

Learn more about our products and equipment here, or get in contact with us to see how we can help with your requirements.