All You Need To Know About Crowd And Queue Management

crowd and queue management

Crowd and queue management is essential to the smooth running of an event or business where crowds and queues occur, and in ensuring the safety of the people in them.

Read on to find out all you need to know about crowd and queue management, and what you can do to ensure the safety and satisfaction of people you are responsible for.

The importance of crowd and queue management

Since the coronavirus pandemic, none of us are strangers to queuing and the importance of safety measures. Queue management is the process of managing the experiences of customers waiting in a queue to improve business and customer experience and satisfaction.

Crowd management, or crowd control, is a security practice whereby large crowds are managed in order to prevent crowd surges, crushes, affray, fights, or riots. There have sadly been several cases, even recently, where crowd crushes at large events have led to hundreds of fatalities.

However, most major crowd disasters can be prevented through implementing simple crowd management strategies, organisation, and traffic control systems such as strategically placed barriers.

Proper signage

Whether it is a toilet sign, road sign, street name sign, or site safety sign, people depend on signage every day, often without even realising it.

Signage can be used to manage crowds and queues, to navigate people to where they need to be, and to keep them informed. You may have signage in queues to advise people on estimated wait times from certain points.

Ensure all signage is clear and to the point. Signs that are over-complicated or would take too long to read can be counterproductive, as can signs that are too vague or abstract.

Belt barriers

Commonly used to control entry and exit at a variety of venues and events, belt barriers are effective in managing queues and crowds.

Using belt barriers to control the flow of people into an event or area will help to prevent overcrowding. Belt barriers can be also ultilised to ensure that queues are orderly and people are navigated to the right place, thus keeping people safe as well as saving them time.

Often seen in stores and buildings, belt barriers can be used to cordon off high-traffic areas, and to demarcate areas or routes that are not accessible to the public.

Crowd control barriers

An excellent option for queue management, crowd control barriers are strong, modular, and can be easily put together and disassembled. Plus, unlike temporary fencing which is often used to manage crowds, crowd control barriers have flat feet, thus reducing trip hazards.

Crowd control barriers should be used to provide clear directions and safe navigation, and to help prevent overcrowding.

Crowd control barriers can be customised with signage to provide site or safety information, and with branding for a professional look and increased brand awareness.


A turnstile is a form of gate designed to only allow one person to pass at a time and can be configured to only allow people to pass through one way.

Turnstiles are very effective in controlling the entry and exit of people into an area, venue, or building, and in managing the number of people.

There are turnstiles that will only allow people in with a coin, ticket, pass, or another payment method. They can also count the number of people that have gone in and out to establish whether the area is at capacity.

Security personnel

There is no denying that the use of strategically placed barriers is instrumental in ensuring proper management of crowds and queues, but they cannot prevent drunk and disorderly behaviour or instruct people to move back if an area becomes overcrowded.

Trained security personnel are required in addition to physical systems and barriers, to maintain order and prevent or control fights, riots, or drunk or disorderly conduct.

Security personnel is crucial in organising and controlling large crowds and queues. Their presence alone will help to promote a general sense of order and safety.

If you are looking to increase the security of your event with effective barriers and turnstiles, get in touch with our team of experts at Gateway Automation on 01522 682255, or email

The Comprehensive Guide To Bollard Maintenance

the comprehensive guide to bollard maintenance

Bollards provide an effective method of demarcation, protection, and security in a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces. However, their maintenance is often overlooked.

Bollards are designed to keep buildings, assets, and people safe. Therefore, they must be properly maintained to ensure they continue to do their job.

Simple, periodic inspections and repairs can prolong the lifespan of your bollards. Follow our comprehensive guide to bollard maintenance, to ensure their effectiveness and save you money in the long run.

What causes damage to bollards?

Before carrying out any inspections or maintenance, it is important to first understand what can cause damage to bollards. The two main causes of damage to bollards are environmental conditions and human interaction.

Although bollards are designed to withstand adverse environmental and weather conditions, strong winds, rain, snow, ice, and even sun can take their toll on them over time.

Bollards in coastal environments are more susceptible to damage from saltwater spray, and high-traffic areas are subject to pollutants.

Many bollards are installed in car parks and on roads to serve as a visual aid to drivers in car parks and on roads. However, they are sometimes accidentally driven into, which can cause damage such as dents or scratches to bollards.

As well as accidental damage, bollards are also often subjected to intentional damage. People may vandalise bollards – they might graffiti on them, or stick flyers or stickers to them.

Bollard inspection

Now you have an understanding of how bollards can become damaged, it is time to carry out an inspection.

There are many issues to look out for when you inspect a bollard, including dents, breaks, cracks, rust, a buildup of dirt, salt or atmospheric residue, vandalism, vehicle impact, reduced performance, loose or missing fixings, or any other wear and tear.

If possible, it is worth taking some suitable fixings and tools with you in case any need replacing, then you can fit those during the inspection.

We recommend inspecting your bollards at least once a month. The harsher the environment that the bollards are in, the more often you should check them. If you have bollards in a highly polluted area, these should be inspected weekly.

Bollard maintenance

When it comes to maintenance, the best approach depends on the material which the bollard is constructed from. A tailored maintenance regimen is crucial to effectively maintaining your bollards.

Bollards constructed from steel are typically galvanised for added protection. Do not use abrasive cleaning products on these as it could compromise the integrity of the galvanisation and cause the bollards to rust prematurely.

Minor knocks and scratches should not need repairing as galvanised steel can self-heal minor damage. However, more significant damage should be repaired with repair paint which comes in spray or paste form.

Pre-cast concrete bollards are very hard-wearing and sturdy, so they typically require little to no maintenance, but should still be inspected and cleaned periodically.

Concrete bollards are more likely to accumulate a build-up of dirt due to the rough surface texture. When cleaning concrete bollards, wear protective gloves to protect against concrete dust and to prevent abrasions.

Timber bollards come in a variety of hardwoods and softwoods. Timber can have sharp edges and can splinter, move and split. A light sanding should help with splinters and sharp edges.

However, there is unfortunately little that can be done to repair major damage to timber bollards, so replacement is the only option when timber bollards deteriorate.

All bollards should be cleaned regularly, ideally with warm soapy water, or a solution of water and detergent, and a soft nylon brush. Once cleaned and rinsed, dry with a soft cloth. This will help to improve its aesthetic and prolong its lifespan.

Avoid using solvent cleaners when removing graffiti. Opt for a specialist cleaner or T-cutting compound, then test your product on a small, inconspicuous area to assess the effect it has on the bollard, before cleaning larger areas or the entire bollard with it.

If a bollard is damaged beyond repair, is no longer effective, or if the integrity of the bollard has been compromised, or if it poses a risk to people or wildlife due to damage caused, then it is time to call in professional help or replace it.

With over 30 years of combined experience in manufacturing and installing bollards, Gateway Automation Ltd. offers a value-for-money service with well-engineered, high-quality bollards, manufactured to your specific requirements.

For total peace of mind, we offer nationwide maintenance contracts on our own bollards, as well as on existing perimeter security equipment made by other manufacturers.

Whether your business runs from small retail premises or a large industrial site, Gateway Automation can provide you with a free, no-obligation quote and feasibility survey to assess your bollard requirements. Call us on 01522 682255, or email