Ardrossan Tank Traps
Ardrossan provides one of the few surviving examples of World War II tank traps installed in public roads. Examples can be found in the town's Dalry Road, and Glasgow Street.
The Dalry Road remains lie in the footpath next to a stone wall, almost opposite a newsagent and grocer's shop - with a single example also remaining in the footpath just to the south of the shop.
The Glasgow Street remains lie in the footpath adjacent to the Cafe Palazzo, and are located in front of the entrance to the yard area belonging to the cafe. There do not appear to be any remains in the footpath opposite, which was possibly reconstructed when a modern filling station was built on the corner site, and where pedestrian barriers and footpath extensions have been added to narrow the road at this junction.
Further examples can be found in nearby Saltcoats.
Formerly reaching across the full width of the road and footpath, the roads have been resurfaced, resulting in the loss of the traps installed there, but those located in the adjacent footpath still remain, and have the appearance of a group of small metal covers, similar to those over the water toby (road mounted shut-off valve) found outside most buildings. In the event of an attack, the covers would have been removed, and steel girders fixed into the holes, blocking the width of the road. Although simple, such measures were particularly effective against tracked vehicles such as tanks, as they could become trapped by even a single vertical post if they attempted to drive over it and it lodged in their underside while their tracks were not in contact with the ground. Unable to move and effectively disabled, the trapped tank was not only halted, but was a dead weight of up to 50 tons, so would delay or halt others, unless engineers could move it, or call in lifting gear.
During the war, it was believed that Ardrossan would make an ideal landing point due to its shallow run in from the beach and wide expanse.
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