New secure system aims to keep smart motorway running


A new secure access cover system promises to prevent a cable theft or sabotage that could bring the new smart motorway section of the M3 to a halt.

The system has been developed by Saint Gobain PAM in collaboration with key stakeholders and the extended supply chain.

Installation of cables in the secure access system

The Highways England scheme to converting the hard shoulder between junctions 2 and 4a to a permanent running lane is being delivered by Balfour Beatty and will include the installation of fibre optic and power cables for the signals and CCTV cameras mounted on gantries and new message signs.

Gary Postle, national key account manager for Saint Gobain PAM, said: ‘The development of this secure access solution is an excellent example of collaborative working, with all of the stakeholders working together in defining and reaching the final solution.

‘Metal theft can be a major issue for Highways England, not just for the cost of replacement but also for the disruption that it can cause. The ongoing consequences for a smart motorway, which relies on communication continuity, are even more serious.’

The Saint Gobain PAM solution consists of its Opt-Emax access cover fitted with a five-sided allen head bolt, plus a high security fabricated steel sub-unit fitted underneath the access cover.

It is designed to resist a deliberate attack by an experienced assailant using bodily force and a wide selection of manual and power tools. It also provides protection against flammable liquids.


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