The Bowstoke Road subway is situated under the A4041 Newton Road in Great Barr, Sandwell. This particular subway provides the local residents a vital link to local shops and public transport situated on the other side of the busy dual carriageway. Sandwell MBC had received reports that the subway had been suffering from constant vandalism and criminal activity. The majority of the fluorescent lighting units had been rendered useless; vandals had destroyed the lenses exposing the fluorescent tube gear trays, which were then set alight. The narrow subway was in constant darkness making it a ‘no go’ area for local residents.
The design brief was to upgrade the existing subway units and cabling. Moving away from the fragile and costly fluorescent tubes to energy efficient high output LEDs, yet utilising the existing bodies and infill panels. The new units needed to be much more vandal resistant to ensure this investment would benefit the local community for years to come. We design and build the majority of their products at our facility in Oldbury, Birmingham. Our engineers worked closely with Sandwell MBC to provide a bespoke design solution for the existing units including retrofit LED gear trays with anti-vandal covers. The covers were manufactured from mild steel and incorporate a super tough 10mm dual layer lens; 8mm anti-flex rear lens and 2mm anti-graffiti front lens. The advantage of this system is that the front lens can easily be replaced after attack from sharp objects or graffiti, whilst the anti-flex lens protects the LED gear tray from impact damage.
We contracted the services of a specialist contractor to carryout the installation. Birmingham based installation and maintenance professionals, specialising in lighting projects for local authorities and transport organisations. “The Bowstoke project is the most recent in a long line of subway refurbishment projects we’ve completed with Signature (Mallatite). Retro fit and refurbishment projects need an exceptional amount of project management and teamwork to make them work. Combining new components, like the LED gear trays and anti-vandal covers, with the existing housings and fixing points, requires skill and experience from both sides. This is why we work so well together.“
The project was completed in May 2014. Mark Davies and Lee Preece from Sandwell MBC commented “We’re really pleased with the result. This particular subway was a problem site, plagued with vandalism, and causing concern for local residents. Working with Signature was certainly the right choice, the end result is a brighter, safer and energy efficient solution that should stand the test of time.”