Crowdguard keeps Leeds Pride revellers safe with the ATG Surface Guard HVM system

Over the past 15 years, Leeds Pride has become one of Yorkshire’s leading events for the LGBTQ+ community, attracting more than 50,000 people each year.

With such large crowds expected, Leeds City Council needed to ensure the safety of all revellers and event staff. The council enlisted the help of Crowdguard to supply and install an ATG Surface Guard system. The installation provided a temporary, surface mounted, pedestrian permeable hostile vehicle mitigation (HMV) barrier at both ends of Lower Briggate, the city’s principal pedestrianised shopping street.

Effective and aesthetically pleasing

The versatile ATG Surface Guard system has been designed to provide flexible, practical and visually appealing protection for events and public realm environments for pedestrianisation and protection of outdoor dining spaces. Completely surface mounted, it can be deployed quickly and installed virtually anywhere, leaving no marks or penetrations on road surfaces. To ensure that emergency vehicles can access the area if required, the modular system can be installed with vehicle access points that allow the protective barrier to be lowered in less than 30 seconds.

ATG Surface Guard’s design combines high levels of protection with an appearance that is welcoming and unthreatening, with the potential to customise the modules with branding, information, advertising or wayfinding. This customisation, visual appeal and high protection capability is ideal for events in urban centres, such as Leeds Pride, and the system allows pedestrians, cyclists, prams and even mounted police to move freely between the barriers, whilst keeping vehicles out.

Robust protection, rapid installation

Crowdguard is one of just two approved ATG Surface Guard installers in the UK and can supply and install the system anywhere in the country. To prepare for Leeds Pride, the skilled Crowdguard team arrived in the city in the early hours of Sunday morning, with all the components and resources to install the system specified. Leeds City Council had stipulated that the ATG Surface Guard system should be fully installed within two hours, so the team achieved this by utilising a HIAB flatbed truck for speedy deployment.

Operations Manager Mike Cunliffe, who was the Council’s point of contact at Crowdguard during the event, explained: “The council knew that there would be a large volume of eventgoers circulating within a small area, so they needed a solution that would protect people while enabling a good flow of movement in and out of the location. The ATG Surface Guard system is ideal for a requirement like that because it is very effective at stopping vehicles, while also offering convenience as a pedestrian permeable modular system that can be configured to meet the specific needs of the location.

“The turnaround time to install the system was tight, but the council was impressed by how quickly we were able to put the ATG Surface Guard solution in place. Equally important was enabling the area to get back to business as usual after Leeds Pride was over and the client was also impressed with how efficiently we removed the ATG Surface Guard system before the roads reopened. Because we have our own installation teams, we were able to plan and resource this for the project with full accountability for on time project delivery.”

A spokesperson from Leeds City Council commented: “Pride is a key part of our events calendar and delivers a boost to both the day- and night-time economy of the city, so it’s important that we attract as many people as possible and enable them to enjoy the celebrations safely. Working with Crowdguard enabled us to implement our crowd management strategy efficiently and cost-effectively, with high levels of protection thanks to ATG Surface Guard and a rapid return to normal once Pride was over.”