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Monday, August 2, 2021

Transport links to Stratford International Station key for Olympics 2012

The announcement that London had been awarded the 2012 Olympics saw the start of a huge redevelopment programme in many parts of the capital, with the central focus at Stratford covering an area of over 500 acres – about the size of Alton Towers!

The Westfield Group is the company behind Westfield Stratford City which, when completed, will hold the title of Europe’s largest urban shopping centre. It works in partnership with local councils and development agencies to promote long-term vision and planning for city regeneration programmes. This was key to the Olympic bid and its success.

The transport links to Westfield Stratford City and the Olympic park will be crucial to both the Games’ success and Stratford’s future. Stratford International Station was completed in 2007 and opened to the public in 2009. During the Olympics, it will provide connections for spectators travelling to Games venues from London as well as Ebbsfleet, making the whole area more accessible to the public.

Westfield’s brief

With the site now well on its way to completion and in the second-fix stage, the Westfield Group needed a product not only to protect installed granite walkways around the shopping centre and in front of the station, but also provide an access route into the site. It had to be capable of protecting the paving from loaders, skid steers, both light and heavy plant, cranes, delivery vans and the everyday footfall of construction workers and visitors.

Zigma Ground Solutions designs, manufactures and supplies products globally that combine innovative technology and unique features. The company offers cost-effective solutions whilst delivering the highest levels of performance, safety and ease-of-use for all temporary roadway, ground protection and access applications. It was given the demanding criteria for the Stratford works at the beginning of 2010. A mat was needed that was –

  • capable of being easily manhandled by workers on site
  • lightweight but durable – able to withstand a weight up to 80 tonnes
  • compliant with health and safety regulations
  • non-slip
  • sustainable and environmentally friendly
  • chemically inert, thus preventing any leaching onto the protected granite
  • cost effective.


Zigma, along with one of its key distributors – Beaver 84 – provided the Westfield Group with EuroMat® – a product that ticked all the boxes. At present, there are nearly 3,000 panels installed on site with a further 1,000 due there shortly, covering a total area of more than 10,000m2. When the project is completed later this year, the EuroMat® will have been in use for a period of 18 months. Its ease of installation ensured there were no delays to the work programme and it has since surpassed all expectations of the customer.

Anthony Jukes, UK Sales Manager, Zigma Ground Solutions, said “I am really pleased the EuroMat® met all the criteria stipulated by Westfield and was successfully selected for the Westfield project. Once installed it was great to see such a vast area covered with our product and performing as it should at the Olympic Gateway.”

Product overview

The EuroMat® is a heavy duty manhandleable temporary access mat for the construction, civil engineering and groundwork industries and is just one of the many products available from Zigma Ground Solutions. Manufactured from premium quality recycled or virgin high-density (HD) polyethylene, each EuroMat® weighs only 36kg and the built-in hand-holds make moving and installation easy.

Whether the requirement is for an access route to an event, protecting sensitive areas such as a heritage site, or preventing heavy machinery from becoming bogged down, the EuroMat® is flexible and suitable for every eventuality, with the added bonus of withstanding loads of up to 80 tonnes, according to tests conducted at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory. In addition, the unique anti-slip chevron surface delivers ultimate grip – dispersing mud as vehicles travel over them – whilst the chevron nub design reduces sideways movement, delivering optimal traction. There is also the option of a pedestrian-friendly surface.

Moving forward

In April 2010, Zigma added TuffTrak® to its product portfolio – the industry’s first solid compression moulded temporary road mat. As with the EuroMat®, TuffTrak® is manufactured from premium quality recycled HD or virgin ultra high molecular weight (UHMW) polyethylene, providing heavy duty temporary access for both commercial sites and outdoor events. It can handle loads of up to 150 tonnes.

In a major export and marketing coup, last October saw Zigma’s products launched into the US marketplace through its distributor New South Equipment. The company also exports across Europe, Middle East and Australia.

As an innovative and dynamic company, Zigma Ground Solutions is constantly looking for ways to evolve its products and services. Recently it launched a multi-language website in German, French and Spanish. Later this year the company will be entering the world of virtual technology, introducing Radio Frequency Identification microchips to allow location tracking of mats across sites or nationwide depots, delivering a more robust and efficient inventory management system.


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