Developing solutions to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety

Access Covers and Gratings
cycling case study
London & South East
Gully Gratings
Municipal castings

The Issues faced

Over recent years the roads in most major towns and cities have become more congested leading to all road users vying for the same space whether on 2 or 4 wheels. With space limited cyclists are often forced to move closer to the kerb line where road drainage is often located, this poses a significant risk as many modern cycles have narrow wheels that could become lodged in the bars of a traditional grating.


In congested areas it is common for cyclists to try and avoid the surface water drainage system bringing them into close proximity with traffic leading to an increased risk of accidents.

The Solution

Working with Transport for London, Saint-Gobain PAM UK has developed a new cycle friendly drainage grating to improve cycle and pedestrian safety.
Its secret is a grid mesh design which is safer for cyclists, but still ensures that surface water is efficiently drained through its large waterway area.
Watershed Orbis can be used in city roads that have continuous heavy traffic; it has a load class of D400 to withstand loads of up to 40 tonnes. Large multi directional wedge settings enhance its stability, increasing its durability and reducing the whole life costs of the product.
A single piece captive hinge makes maintenance and cleaning operations easier and also prevents theft of the product. Available with left hand, right hand or a kerb-facing hinge, the grating can be used on any road, including one-way systems. 

The Value

A collaborative partnership between the TfL their delivery partners and Saint-Gobain PAM UK has resulted in the development of a solution that reduces the risk of accidents and injury. A solution that combines efficient water clearance with enhanced cyclist and pedestrian safety features. Ivan Bennett Senior Industrial Product Designer for Transport for London added “A number of modern road bikes have very narrow wheels and a risk assessment identified a possible hazard where wheels could get stuck in drainage gratings. Saint-Gobain PAM UK worked with us to develop a solution which is now being installed.”

The development of Orbis is the first of many new gratings that we are adding to the Watershed range later this year. The range is designed for a long life, minimal and simple maintenance and efficient removal of surface water.


For further information and advice on Watershed Orbis or any other products and services offered by Saint-Gobain PAM UK please contact our team on 0115 930 5000 or visit


Associated documents

See also

Flexible solution for varied applications