Enhancing Safety and Accessibility at the National Sports Campus

The National Sports Campus is Ireland's home of sport and hosts over 1 million visitors annually, ranging from competitive athletes to children. The campus comprises many facilities, including the National Aquatic Centre, the National Indoor Arena, the National Covered Pitches, the National Horse Arena, the National Gymnastics Training Centre and more.  

These facilities allow the National Sports Campus to host all events, from national to international athletics, gymnastics, and swimming competitions, to offer more localised facilities for clubs, schools, businesses, and team development. The campus also boasts first-class facilities to host events and classes for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. 

With so many visitors yearly, problems began to arise whereby visitors and pedestrians were at risk in the car parks and outdoor spaces across the campus.  


national sports campus bollards


Speeding vehicles in campus car parks 

More vehicles using the local car park facilities meant speeding levels increased. Speeding vehicles posed a severe threat to pedestrian safety at the campus, and reports were made that suggested several close calls with pedestrians during busy periods. 


Vehicles mounting kerbs at the entrance to the National Aquatic Centre 

There was a specific issue with the Aquatic Centre whereby vehicles mounted kerbs where double yellow lines were already in place. These vehicles affected general accessibility in the area and blocked access at the front of the building, making it highly unsuitable for emergency vehicle access if required. 


Boosting accessibility at outdoor seating spaces at the Aquatic Centre 

The outdoor picnic tables at the Aquatic Centre needed to be replaced in order to provide more accessible seating. Old seating remained outdated and worn, and new seating required spaces for wheelchair users. 


Separating vehicle traffic in the facility car parks across the campus 

There were several places across campus where there was a risk of vehicles colliding. The campus management required a way to separate the vehicles while minimising the loss of space for vehicle parking spaces. They also needed a means to block "out-of-bounds" areas to deny vehicle entry and regulate parking. 


Reducing risk of bicycle theft and interference across the campus 

An increase in the number of bike users meant that bicycles were in more need of protection. Exposed bikes were more at risk from theft and weathering while locked in place outdoors.  


national sports campus


After numerous site visits, our team came up with several solutions to the main problems affecting the Sports Campus. 


Speed Bumps Installation: 50mm high speed bumps were suggested to reduce vehicle speeds substantially. The immediate bump would warn drivers sharply and encourage them to slow down. The 50mm height would be perfect for reducing the speed of cars and light vehicles and minimising the risk of on-site accidents. The modular design would allow for a quick on-site installation by the Pittman® install team while minimising the interruption to daily business.  


Planter installation at Aquatic Centre entrance: The Silaos wood and steel planters would provide a robust but attractive means to prevent vehicle access in the area. Our team suggested installing planters on the kerb above the double-yellow lines to prevent the vehicles from mounting the kerb. The planters would also provide a secondary benefit in brightening the area with flowers and plants to boost the building's appearance. 


sports campus planters


Installation of accessible seating at the Aquatic Centre: as Sports Campus management wanted to upgrade picnic tables outside the Aquatic Centre, Pittman® suggested using the Seville Picnic Benches. The Seville benches would include an open space on one side of the bench to accommodate one wheelchair per table, boosting accessibility for all visitors.  


Using flexible bollards to separate vehicle traffic across campus car parks: flexible bollards were the main suggestion for effectively separating vehicles. A cost-effective solution would be a combination of Flexbrite® flexible bollards (deterring vehicle entry) and Impact Recovery Systems® bollards (directing vehicles where to go). The flexible bollards would delineate areas while minimising replacement costs if impacts occurred.  


Installation of Calais Secure Cycle Shelters 

It was recommended that the Calais Secure Cycle Shelters be installed for a long-term solution to bicycle protection. The lockable doors would mean increased security for bicycle owners while also protecting bicycles from harsh weather. Internal low-profile bike racks allowed for bikes to be locked into place easily. Installing the shelter onto pre-existing concrete pads was also recommended for a secure, long-lasting foundation. 



national sports campus


After taking on all considerations and recommendations the management at the Sports Campus reported several findings. 

Reduction in vehicle speeds across the sports campus - on-site vehicle speeds were significantly reduced. Reports from customers and staff stated that vehicle traffic now moves slower and steadier while still allowing cars to flow as usual. Customer complaints decreased while praise was aimed at a now safer place for children and parents. 

Boost to parking enforcement at the Aquatic Centre - the Silaos planters completely stopped vehicles from parking on the kerb at the Aquatic Centre. Staff praised the addition, mentioning that parking enforcement has become much more accessible and has created safer spaces for visitors.  

More accessible seating at Aquatic Centre - wheelchair users have widely praised the addition of accessible picnic tables. The tables have allowed the Sports Campus to comply with government guidelines and provide an accessible, welcoming campus that is open to all. 

Better delineation for drivers - including flexible bollards made navigating the car park much more manageable. Reports of "lost" drivers significantly decreased due to better delineation of areas using the bollards. Reports also suggested fewer accidents were occurring due to safer parking spaces, coupled with the reduced speed across the campus. 

Increased bike usage and storage - the addition of secure bike storage saw increased bike storage on the campus. Customers and staff praised the addition of the Calais shelters, citing that the campus now felt much safer and they were more at ease about storing their bikes on site.