This article investigates why motorway gantry structures in the UK are at least #20,000 more expensive than those in France. Gantries and cantilever signs are usually much lighter structures in continental Europe than in the UK. When portal gantry signs were first introduced on British motorways, they were made of steel or concrete, and cost about #100,000, but their signalling and surveillance equipment cost only #15,000 to #60,000. The Telematics Group of the Highways Agency (HA) drafted revisions to existing design standards to encourage light-weight construction, faster erection techniques, and easier maintenance. It also suggested using cantilever gantries mounted on the road verge, which are easy to access and much cheaper than a portal frame gantry. However, the cost difference between Britain and France is still large, despite the HA's issue of BD 51/98 in 1998. J Wallsgrove of the HA, who was responsible for drafting BD 51/98, explains that the cost is higher in the UK, because its gantries are designed to reduce the risk that they will fall on the road after being hit by a heavy vehicle. This risk is more in the UK than in France, because of denser traffic on British motorways. The HA is now studying three innovative gantry designs by British companies, in an attempt to reduce the cost of safe gantries.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Reed Business Information, Limited

    Quadrant House, The Quadrant
    Brighton Road
    Sutton, Surrey  United Kingdom  SM2 5AS
  • Authors:
    • Bennett, D
  • Publication Date: 2000-4-19


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 22-3
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 403
    • Issue Number: 6273
    • Publisher: Reed Business Information, Limited
    • ISSN: 0010-7859

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00795078
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jul 7 2000 12:00AM