New automated bollard system at Abbey Square Gateway

Visitors to Chester are spoiled for choice when it comes to taking in our breathtaking historic attractions. From the top of the Roman city walls down to the Castle, Chester packs a lot into a modestly-sized space – which doesn’t leave a lot of space for parking in the city centre!

Residents and businesses in Abbey Square, off Northgate Street, were growing increasingly tired of opportunistic drivers parking in their spaces. The convenient cut-through to the Frodsham Street supermarkets and lack of pay-and-display parking fees in the square proved too tempting for many visitors.

Abbey Square is part of the Chester Cathedral grounds and is home to many residents, including the Bishop of Chester. The square is intended to be a semi-public space, providing multiple shortcuts through the city and housing an attractive green space in its centre.

The desire to preserve this space for visitors, while also restricting vehicle access to the area, lead to Chester Cathedral and Cheshire West & Chester council‘s decision to install an automated bollard system at the entrance to the square. We at Maxiflow were contracted to take on the task, in partnership with MACS Automated Bollard Systems Ltd.

Simple diagram of Abbey Square gateway bollard placement

Abbey Square’s primary vehicle entrance is the Abbey Gateway, the front of which faces Chester Town Hall. The Gateway is a Grade I listed building constructed circa the 14th century, its beautiful architecture and red sandstone standing as a portal to the city’s past.

The new bollard system was designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, in order to preserve the Gateway’s aesthetics. A lone bollard stands in the centre of the cobbled roadway and it is lowered by activating the reader on a nearby control post. The entryway is flanked by a pair of wooden posts, narrowing the profile of vehicles which can access the square.

Maxiflow’s groundworks team dug pits for the bollard and control post and excavated trenches in the road and surrounding paths. These works involved careful removal of sets of cobbles from the road surface and storing them for re-use. Our drainage consultants advised in laying a bed of pea gravel and installing ducting around all apparatus to protect against ingress of rainwater. Our electricians supplied MACS with the power feed for the control tower, in addition to the induction loops.

After installation of the bollard and control post, the pits were backfilled with concrete and all cobbles were replaced in their original positions. The kerbs, flags and the York stone wheelers (the flattened paths that offer tyre protection against the cobbles) were also relaid, or replaced with their closest matches.

Maxiflow would like to thank MACS Automated Bollard Systems Ltd for their work in bringing this project to completion.

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