Atlas Group
Car park access barriers
Sliding security gates
Automatic keypad entry gate
Automatic arm access gate
Underfloor motorised driveway gates
specialists in the installation and maintenance of automatic gate operating systems, access automation and parking control barriers for over 25 years

News Articles

Atlas install barrier for Dell data centre in Slough

Atlas install barrier for Dell data centre
December 2011

Dell UK's newly opened data centre in Slough has been equipped with a rising arm barrier access control system to ensure only authorised vehicles enter the site.

Installed by the Atlas Group, the single rising arm barrier is a CEDA unit with 6.5 metre boom. Staff vehicle entry is by a digipad fitted with a proximity reader and mounted on a gooseneck post. Visitors to the site use an intercom linked to security staff that can raise the barrier to allow vehicle entry. Vehicle exit is controlled by an underground loop which opens the barrier automatically when a vehicle approaches.

Atlas also installed seven static bollards, made to match those already on the site, and a custom-made catchpost to match the bollards.

Atlas managing director Joe Baker said: "We were pleased to be able to carry out this work, on time and on budget, for such a high profile company."

OM Property Management

Atlas assists OM Property Management in being named most innovative in industry
December 2011

Atlas has been thanked by their client OM Property Management, one of the UK's leading managing agents, for the dedicated support they have provided to OM Property Management's customers. The Atlas contribution helped the property management company to win the prestigious (Association of Residential Managing Agents) ARMA Innovation Award 2011 for its 'Maintenance Updates' service for customers.

In giving the award to OM the judges singled out the way the new Maintenance Updates on the website create a vital information link between OM Property Management's customers, its property managers and customer service staff, and its contractors.

For the residents at OM Property Management's developments, the 'Maintenance Updates' pages provide an online view of current maintenance work at each development. It also provides a history of all work undertaken to date - and gives residents a chance to feedback on completed jobs.

Slough-based access control specialist Atlas Group, with other supply chain partners, has access to an online conduit for updating property managers and residents on works in progress. This streamlines the process of responding to individual phone calls from residents and property management staff. Because the website has been built for both desktop and mobile internet browsers, updates can be posted via smartphones while contractors are actually on site.

Atlas managing director Joe Baker said: "We are delighted our contribution to the Maintenance Updates service has been recognised and we congratulate OM Property Management on winning the award."

Barriers installed at Westfield Stratford

Barriers installed at Westfield Stratford
November 2011

Atlas has installed two rising arm barriers at the massive Westfield Stratford City shopping centre.

Installed to control unauthorised vehicles entering the complex, the barriers are expected to be especially useful over the period the 2012 Olympics are taking place on sites adjacent to the shopping centre.

With a total retail floor area of 175,000 m², 300 shops and 5,000 parking spaces, Westfield Stratford City is one of the largest urban shopping centres in Europe and the largest in the EU if the surrounding shopping area is included.

Over 70 percent of visitors to the Olympics are expected to go through the shopping centre on the way to the Games venues.

Atlas Help Improve School Security

Atlas Help Improve School Security
August 2011

The safety and security of school pupils, staff and premises has never been as important as it is today. To keep both people and buildings as safe and secure as possible there is an urgent requirement to review systems and procedures to ensure that current guidelines are understood and complied with.

According to access control specialists Atlas Group the automated gates and barrier systems installed at many schools are unsafe to use and do not comply with current regulations.

The Slough-based company's managing director, Joe Baker, said: "In the past six months we have attended local schools to audit the safety of their automated gate and barrier systems. Although there were a handful of exceptions, we found that the majority did not comply and required modifications or upgrading to ensure hazard-free operation for childsafety and the safety of others."

The works completed by Atlas included changing a potentially dangerous swing gate to a sliding model; fitting safety cushions on the leading edge to a number of gates; and fencing off a gate run back area to ensure maximum safety. In addition, intercom systems were installed at schools where there was only visual communication between a barrier and the school.

Atlas is urging schools to check their security systems to ensure children and staff are safe from intruders, and that the possibility of unauthorised access and damage by vandals is minimised. "If a school is not confident that it is as secure as possible it should call in access control specialists to check. Most reputable companies will not charge for this service", said Joe Baker.

Free risk assessment from Atlas

Free risk assessment from Atlas
February 2011

As part of their newly introduced maintenance packages, Atlas have included a free of charge risk assessment and safety inspection on all automated gates and barriers - irrespective of the make or type of equipment installed.

Atlas managing director Joe Baker says it was decided to offer the free assessment to all customers with a maintenance agreement after the company's engineers encountered a great many unsafe installations.

He said: "Our engineers were getting very worried about the number of installations they were finding which did not comply with current safety requirements. Many were potentially dangerous to both users and members of the public passing by.

"Accidents are rare but the tragic death of three young children in recent years has brought home how important it is to regularly inspect and test automation equipment to ensure it is safe to use".

Atlas offers three levels of safety and maintenance service, each includes a preventive maintenance programme and periodic safety inspection and testing.

For more information please see our Safety & Maintenance for Access Control Systems leaflet (100k, PDF).


Barriers to safety
January 2011

The safety of automated gates must be a priority argues Joe Baker, managing director of the Slough-based Atlas Group.

Despite the bewildering array of rules and regulations covering the design and installation of automated gates and barriers, there can be no excuse for not carrying out a risk assessment of every installation to ensure every eventuality has been considered and all relevant safety equipment has been installed.

There have been a number of tragic accidents recently involving members of the public, some fatal, and this is unacceptable. The seriousness of the current situation has been brought home to us on a number of occasions when we have been called in to check or repair a system and found the equipment to be deficient, often of even the most basic safety features. Moreover, these are not all old installations, which means that there are still 'cowboy' installers out there, probably winning business by being the cheapest, and keeping costs down by ignoring the regulations.

If this situation is allowed to continue, it will not be long before there are more accidents, and perhaps more heartbreaking fatalities. Yes, the regulations are a nightmare and the answer could be for the industry to call for one organisation, perhaps the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to be given overall responsibility for inspecting all installations to ensure compliance, as well as setting minimum standards of competence for installers.

In addition, the industry must itself be more responsible by ensuring installers, many of whom operate on a freelance basis, are fully conversant with the regulations and are properly trained.

Earlier this year the HSE issued another safety alert to gate manufacturers and installers, reminding them of their safety responsibilities when designing, constructing and installing electrically powered gates, to minimise the risk of an incident happening.

Of course, there are thousands of installations that will never meet the latest regulations, and the great majority of them will operate safely over their lifespan. But this is not a good enough reason to ignore the regulations and take the risk that someone may be badly injured, even fatally, because of non-compliance. This just gives the industry a bad name and this is not fair on all the responsible installers who stick to the rules by carrying out a risk assessment and fitting all necessary safety equipment.

This article was published in the December 2010 issue of Parking News.


Atlas deliver gate in record time
September 2010

Access control specialist Atlas Group had just six weeks to design, manufacture and install a sliding gate for a new supermarket in Streatham High Road.

Atlas managing director Joe Baker said: "We would usually work to a three month minimum design to installation timescale for a fairly complex job like this gate."

Required to restrict vehicle access to a car park during the stores non-open hours, the gate has two leaves each 4 metres wide by 80 centimetres high. When the gate is open, the leaves 'telescope' and move to one side leaving the full 8-metre carriageway available for vehicle access.

When the gate is closed, no vehicles can access but pedestrians can enter through the space vacated by the gate. Fixed bollards restrict vehicle access through this opening.

The gate is activated by Gliss automators which are irreversible so the gate is locked in both the open and closed position. Operation is by miniature hand held remote control and the system is connected into fire and security installations.

"To complete this project in just six weeks would not have been possible without the dedication of our designers and engineers who worked long hours to ensure the customer was not let down." said Joe Baker.

Telescopic gates, which can be designed to retract into a space less than one third of the width of the opening, are ideal for applications where the security offered by a sliding gate is required but space is limited.


An answer to the ban on clamping
August 2010

The Government's newly announced ban on clamping and towing on private land is expected to come into force early next year.

Companies that currently employ clampers, or don't use them but suffer with unauthorised parking, will become even more vulnerable to valuable parking spaces being occupied by unauthorised vehicles. It is likely to be even more prevalent in areas within walking distance of a station used by commuters.

The answer to what is destined to become a growing problem as selfish drivers realise that organisations are limited in the actions they can take to stop rogue parking without expending a great deal of time and money, is the installation of automatic gates, or rising barriers for commercial premises.

Not only will these precautions stop that driver prepared to park anywhere off-road that is convenient and free, it also ensures authorised vehicles can be parked in a safe and secure environment.

Automatic gates come in a wide range of sizes and styles, and start at prices that won't break the bank, even in these difficult times. They are suitable for installation in almost every location where unauthorised parking might be a problem including offices, industrial units, schools, public house and hotels as well as church and community halls.

The important thing to remember when considering access automation is to ensure that all necessary safety devices are fitted to comply with relevant legislation.

If you would like to know more about installing gates or barriers contact me, Joe Baker, at Atlas.


Gate deaths being investigated
July 2010

In just two weeks there have been two deaths caused by automatic gates and in a statement earlier this week (July 5) a spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said: "HSE has been assisting the police in South Wales following the death of a child in an incident involving an electric gate in Bridgend on Saturday. Inspectors have already been on site to start an investigation and will meet again today with South Wales police. It is too early to comment on what happened at this stage.

"HSE is also assisting police in Greater Manchester (GMP) following the death of Semelia Campbell in Moss Side last week. This is a separate incident and HSE inspectors and specialist inspectors with expertise in mechanical engineering have been on site to investigate.

"In Manchester, HSE and GMP have required that developments in the vicinity of the Maine Road estate, which have gates similar to those being investigated following the death of Semelia Campbell, are locked in an open position until inspectors can fully examine them and ensure there is no ongoing risk.

"HSE issued a safety alert to gate manufacturers and installers in February [ read here ] reminding them of their safety responsibilities when designing, constructing and installing electrically powered gates, to minimise the risk of an incident happening.

"Should anyone have any concerns about electric gates on their development, they should speak to their management company or their installer, who have a duty to ensure the gates will stop safely should they be obstructed (also known as force limitation protection). They must ensure that the force limitation protection and other anti-crushing, shearing and trapping safety protection devices are correctly set and maintained."

Atlas managing director Joe Baker said: "If anyone is worried about the safety of their automatic gate they should call Atlas on 01753 69166 and we will investigate".

For 30 years Slough-based Atlas have been at the forefront by campaigning, promoting and training to gain better safety for automatic gate and barrier installations.


New guide to access control for healthcare industry
June 2010

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has published a new guide to aid the healthcare sector in the use of access control systems.

The guide is aimed at hospitals and residential care homes and explains how access control technology can better protect these sites, which are increasingly being targeted by criminals.

Mike Sussman, Chairman of the BSIA's Access Control Section, comments: "Healthcare premises tend to be widespread and have large transient populations making it all the more easier for people to access the site. With high value items stored on-site such as computers and medical equipment, not to mention the personal possessions of staff and patients, it is no surprise that hospitals and residential care homes are being targeted."

"Having access control technology in place will not only deter criminals but can physically prevent them from entering the site. Access control systems offer a versatile and cost-effective way to regulate entry to premises. The guide covers the principles and application of access control, as well as providing practical examples of its successful use in the healthcare sector."

The BSIA guide provides information on how access control can reduce risks that the healthcare sector faces, the added benefits the systems can bring, case studies and any legislation that should be considered.

Further information from the BSIA at or Tel: 0845 389 3889.


Atlas alarm over conflicting regulations
May 2010

In a Business News article Atlas Group managing director Joe Baker has sounded the alarm over "a bewildering array of conflicting regulations and lack of policing" of the automatic security gate installation industry.

The article is the first salvo in a series of measures planned by Mr. Baker to bring home to the Prime Minister and Members of Parliament and, if necessary Brussels, that the "incomprehensible, unworkable and unenforceable" regulations are putting lives at risk.

Read the full article (688k PDF File).


Automated Gates - an in (and out) story
May 2010

Having automatic swing gates fitted to a properties driveway or walkway continues to be a popular option for many people, despite the downturn in the economy.

Joe Baker, Atlas Group managing director says his company is still finding that there are people who consider an automated gate is a 'must have', particularly if they have moved from a property with one to a property that does not have one.

Property occupiers who have fitted a system are well aware of the many advantages of having an automated gate activated by remote control or other operating system.

  • Security against theft is enhanced which may help to reduce insurance premiums.
  • Children and pets can be kept in, or out, as required.
  • Automatic gates are extremely convenient, particularly if heavy or awkward loads are being carried.
  • An automatic gate installation is also prestigious, adding enormous appeal to visitors and, very importantly, potential purchasers.
  • And all these advantages come at a cost that can be easily justified.
  • A chat with any estate agent will confirm that the enhancement of a property's value can be many times the cost of an installation.

Joe Baker said his company is also finding installations are not confined to very expensive properties.

"With the trend to improve a property rather than going down the expensive and sometimes risky route of moving, the automated gate along with an extension, new bathroom or designer garden, becomes a serious consideration for many homeowners".


Perivale barriers replaced
April 2010

Vehicle access security at Perivale Business Park in West London is controlled with a barrier system from the Atlas Group's extensive range.

An integral part of the Park's increasingly important security operation, the barriers were installed by Atlas under a contract awarded by Clasby Construction, who were also responsible for constructing a replacement access control security building alongside the barriers.

Consisting of separate 'in' and 'out' rising arm barriers each fitted with a stop sign and lights, the 'in' barrier is controlled from the new security building by an intercom system. The 'out' barrier is controlled by an underground loop.

Atlas managing director Joe Baker said: "Our experience is that controlling vehicle access to multi-occupier sites and individual buildings is of growing importance for both security and safety reasons."

Well-proven for all-weather, continuous use operation, rising arm barriers are just part of a wide range of access automation and associated control equipment available from the Slough-based Atlas Group.


BSIA highlights benefits of access control
February 2010

Following the British Security Industry Association's recent research into crime in the recession, the Association's access control section is highlighting the benefits that users can gain from access control technology. The research revealed that security remains a key investment for UK plc, despite the difficult economic climate, with 92 per cent of respondents retaining the same level of investment. In a summary report of the research findings, access control was featured as a popular security measure among the respondents.

BSIA access control section chairman, Mike Sussman, stated, "The research report makes for interesting reading and it is worth noting that 14 per cent of respondents are looking to invest in access control as a security measure in the near future".

There are many benefits of using an access control system. One of the main advantages is the provision of increased point of entry security to commercial and industrial sites and buildings, as well as residential premises, both single and multi-occupancy.

The Atlas Group is well placed to utilise the latest access control technology to the benefit of its customers.


Atlas has Elecsa Part P services to draw on
January 2010

Elecsa has announced that over 6,000 approved contractors have taken up its Part P scheme, a figure that, despite the recession, is increasing steadily.

As a member, Atlas has access to all the services Elecsa provide including technical advice and the provision of customer warranties.

Atlas managing director Joe Baker said it was essential that customers should feel that a company installing access control, whether a simple gate or a sophisticated electronic system, should have all the right credentials to ensure a high level of safety.

"Having the strength of Elecsa to draw on means that all our customers can be assured their access control system has been installed to the highest electrical specification."

Part P is incorporated in the Building Regulations and its requirement is that: 'Reasonable provision shall be made in the design and installation of electrical installations in order to protect persons operating, maintaining or altering the installations from fire or injury'. In short, electrical installations must be safe!


London Tube demands Atlas' expertise
Work commeced July 2009

Last month, against fierce competition from other bidders, we won the gate automation contract for the Balfour Beaty-Carrillion joint venture East London Tube Extension project. Our recommendations which varied from the laid down specification, were accepted by the client TfL as preferable. The gates are now being manufactured, ready for installation in August. They will secure the tube switchgear against sabotage, misuse and vandalism.

Our achievement shows that we are recognised as a professional company that is competent to undertake public works contracts at the highest level. This should be the first of many. We will be using our success to win similar contracts from other main contractors.

The project involves upgrading the entire existing tube network. Passengers will witness the biggest transformation in the Tube's history. TfL are planning to refurbish the entire underground rail network, from tracks to trains and signals to stations. The project works include:

  • More pleasant stations - most stations will get a facelift by 2012, restoring and protecting the heritage of old stations while completely modernising others (such as King's Cross St. Pancras).
  • Better access from street to train as lifts are installed, wider ticket gates and platform changes implemented.
  • Enhanced security.
  • Improved customer information.

It's going to take time to bring about the world-class network we've all been waiting for - about 10 years in fact - and there will be some disruption as the improvements are carried out.


Helping prepare for London's Olympics
Work commeced June 2009

London's Transport cops were delighted to move into their new home in Islington after Atlas installed a new autogate system for them. The gates are an impressive six metres wide by four metres high.

A previous installation company had been stumped by the scale of the job and threw in the towel, but undeterred Atlas made sure the contract got completed on budget and on time. Our engineer, Paul, skilfully revised the specification to ensure the finished installation was effective and safe.

Atlas Contract Manager, Peter McDonnell, got called in when additional repairs to folding shutter doors turned out to be a much bigger job than anyone had thought. He valued it, priced it and got the order. Then, he and our engineer Keith worked all day (and part of the night!) adjusting and re-hanging the doors to ensure that they are able to maintain the level of security and reliability that the law demands.

A lot hangs (forgive the pun) on our expertise. 7 million Britons watched the Beijing Olympics on TV and organisers hope for an attendance of several times that number in London. Most of these visitors will travel by public transport giving the London Transport Police their biggest logistical headache since the last war.

A budget of £9.3 billion has been set aside for the 2012 games and we are determined that Atlas will continue to pick up it's fair share of that investment.