Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A WALKWAY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/046897
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A walkway is arranged to be laid over and extend along cable troughing (2), the walkway comprising a plurality of identical panels (1), each panel (1) comprising a generally horizontal pavement section (5) having a front edge (10) and a rear edge (11) in a length direction and two side edges in a width direction transverse to the length direction, each pavement section (5) additionally comprising at least two downwardly projecting location elements (6, 7) located in a width direction to respective sides of a centre line extending in the length direction of the pavement section (5), the at least two location elements (6, 7) being arranged to extend down opposite sides of one or more sections of cable troughing (2) with the spacing between the at least two location elements (6, 7) being arranged to accommodate a standard width of cable troughing (2) and permit the location elements (6, 7) to slide down the sides of the cable troughing. The application enables panels (1) to be laid on a single width of standard cable troughing (2), to utilise the weight of the cable troughing and cables therein to provide a stable base for the walkway. The application is particularly advantageous in that it can be used with existing installed cable troughing.

Inventors:
O'HALLORAN, Shane (3 Mount Pleasant Road, New Malden Surrey KT3 3JZ, KT3 3JZ, GB)
Application Number:
GB2017/052562
Publication Date:
March 15, 2018
Filing Date:
September 04, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
LUCAS INNOVATIONS LIMITED (6 Blenheim Centre, Locks Lane, Mitcham Surrey CR4 2JX, CR4 2JX, GB)
International Classes:
E01C9/06; E01B2/00; E01B26/00; E01C15/00; H02G9/06
Foreign References:
DE19902564A11999-07-29
KR101301058B12013-08-28
US20040256020A12004-12-23
GB2331316A1999-05-19
EP2685578A12014-01-15
EP2253777A22010-11-24
GB2170544A1986-08-06
DE19917905A12000-10-26
EP2003247A22008-12-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DOLLEYMORES (9 Rickmansworth Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JU, WD18 0JU, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1 . A walkway arranged to be laid over and extend along cable troughing, the walkway comprising a plurality of identical panels, each panel comprising a generally horizontal pavement section having a front edge and a rear edge in a length direction and two side edges in a width direction transverse to the length direction, each pavement section additionally comprising at least two downwardly projecting location elements located in a width direction to respective sides of a centre line extending in the length direction of the pavement section, the at least two location elements being arranged to extend down opposite sides of one or more sections of cable troughing with the spacing between the at least two location elements being arranged to accommodate the width of cable troughing and permit the location elements to slide down the sides of the cable troughing. 2. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each panel comprises two location elements each extending substantially the length of the pavement section.

3. A walkway as claimed in claim 1 wherein each panel comprises at least four spaced apart location elements with at least two arranged to each side of the centre line of the pavement section and with two located towards the front edge and two located towards the rear edge.

4. A walkway as claimed in claim 1 , 2 or 3 wherein the width of the pavement sections is at one and a half times the distance between the at least two location elements in the width direction.

5. A walkway as claimed in in any preceding claim wherein the width of the panels is at least twice the distance between the at least two location elements in the width direction.

6. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each panel is formed of a composite material.

7. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each panel is formed of a composite resin material.

8. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each panel is formed by a moulding process. 9. A walkway as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein each panel is formed by a pultrusion process.

10. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the length of each panel is between 0.9 and 1 .1 metres.

1 1 . A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each panel has in the plane of the panel a convex front edge and a concave rear edge, to permit respective front and rear edges of adjacent panels to abut together over a significant portion of the width of the panels even when the panels are arranged at an angle to each other.

12 A walkway as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 10 wherein each panel has in the plane of the panel a straight front edge and a straight rear edge. 13. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each panel is provided with a rabbet with an upward facing cheek on one of its front or rear edges with a rabbet with a downward facing cheek on the opposite edge.

14. A walkway as claimed in claim 13 comprising one or more fastening extending through rabbets of adjacent panels to lock the panels together.

15. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the upper surface of each panel has a fall towards each side edge.

16. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the pavement section of each panel has one or more grub screws extending there through arranged to engage with the top of troughing to permit the panels to be levelled.

17. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the bottom ends at least two location elements are pointed to assist them in use to be driven into earth at the side of the troughing.

18. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim further comprising a plurality of spacers arranged to be inserted between the location elements and the troughing.

19. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the upper surface of the pavement section of each panel has a transverse drainage grooves.

20. A walkway as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 18 wherein the pavement section of each panel is a grid with apertures extending downwardly there through.

21 . A walkway as claimed in claim 20 wherein the pavement section of each panel has two wing portions extending to either side of the spacing between the at least two location elements, each wing portion comprising a grid with apertures extending downwardly there through, the pavement section further comprising a central section above the spacing between the at least two location elements which does not have apertures extending there through.

22. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the lower surface of the pavement section has or more downwardly extending portions arranged to be located between upper edges of sidewalls of the troughing to resist the sidewalls of the troughing collapsing inwardly.

23. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim further comprising a plurality of substantially C - shaped clips arranged to be inserted over the side edges of adjacent panels to vertically align the edges of adjacent panels.

24. A walkway as claimed in claim 22 wherein the side edges of each panel are provided with rabbets with upwardly facing cheeks, wherein the C - shaped clips are arranged to be partly accommodated in the rabbet so that the clips do not protrude above the upper surface of the pavement sections.

25. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each panel is homogenous.

26. A walkway as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 23 wherein each pavement section comprise wings arranged to overhang the sides of the troughing, the walkway further comprising a plurality of brackets secured through the wings to a lower surface of the wings, which brackets have downwardly extending portion which form the location elements. 27. A walkway as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each pavement section comprises wings arranged to overhang the sides of troughing the walkway further comprising a plurality of brackets secured through the wings to a lower surface of the wings, wherein the walkway further comprising a handrail secured to the bracket.

28. A walkway as claimed in claim 26 or 27 wherein the wings are formed from a grid with apertures extending downwardly there through, the walkway further comprising fixings arranged to be received and located in said apertures to which fixing the brackets are secured.

29. A walkway comprising sections of troughing having substantially U-shaped channel sections with a walkway as claimed in any preceding claim laid on top.

30. A walkway as claimed in claim in claim 29 wherein the pavement sections form a lid of the troughing. 31 . A walkway as claimed in claim in claim 29 where the troughing comprising a plurality of lids of substantially the same width as the U- shaped channels and which lids are separate to the panels.

32. A walkway as claimed in any one of claims 29 to 31 wherein the troughing formed from concrete

Description:
A Walkway

The present invention relates to a walkway and provides a walkway that may be laid over and extend along cable troughing, of the type commonly found along the side of railway lines.

For safety reasons it may be desirable that a walkway be provided in certain environments, particularly alongside railway lines, to provide railway workers or other pedestrians including emergency services and train passengers a level path along which to walk. This may provide them with a more even path than may otherwise be available, thus possibly providing both a safer path and a quicker path to travel, possibly reducing the time required to access or egress a remote site. A walkway will also provide a designated path which may be a predetermined distance from a railway line and discourage pedestrians walking either down the railway line or along the clear ground often found immediately adjacent to the ballast of the railway line. Furthermore, the provision of a safe pathway may permit rules to be implemented to forbid employees or contractors of the railway walking along the railway, other than by means of the walkway.

Quicker access to a site may not only result in more of the working day being spent constructively on site, but in situations where a railway line has to be shut before access to the railway can be gained, this may reduce the time of any closure and possibly reduce financial penalties associated with any closure. It may also speed up any rescue operations that may become necessary along the railway line. Additionally, the presence of a walkway a stipulated distance from a railway line, may enable access to the railway line to be gained without the line having to be closed. This may be the case particularly where a handrail, in the form of a demarcation/separation line, is provided between the walkway and the railway line. Handrails attached to the walkway may be installed in location of sloping ground to prevent persons from falling off the designated walking route. The provision of a conventional walkway along a railway line, normally requires access by a mechanical excavator to clear and level the ground, with hard core or other material then having to be delivered to construct a suitable pavement, which will then normally be required to be maintained. Additionally such a walkway has to fit in and around the lineside hardware of the railway and

particularly it must not interfere with the continuous cable troughing often found along the length of a railway line. Thus the building of such a walkway may not only be expensive in terms of labour and materials, but it may not be feasible due to it requiring an adjacent railway line to be closed for a significant period of time, while it is constructed.

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a walkway arranged to be laid over and extend along cable troughing, the walkway comprising a plurality of identical panels, each panel comprising a generally horizontal pavement section having a front edge and a rear edge in a length direction and two side edges in a width direction transverse to the length direction, each pavement section additionally comprising at least two downwardly projecting location elements located in a width direction to respective sides of a centre line extending in the length direction of the pavement section, the at least two location elements being arranged to extend down opposite sides of one or more sections of cable troughing, with the spacing between the at least two location elements being arranged to accommodate a standard width of cable troughing and permit the location elements to slide down the sides of the cable troughing. A walkway in accordance with the present invention may utilise either existing cable troughing, or cable troughing to be newly laid, to provide the foundation for the walkway. In the case of existing cable troughing, the walkway may be simply laid directly over the cable troughing without the need for any groundwork or machinery, other than that required to deliver the panels of the walkway. Also the walkway will not conflict with the route of the cable troughing, as it will be laid on top, but it may still permit access to cabling in the troughing, by the panels of the walkway being arranged to be lifted off. The invention may utilises the weight of the cable troughing (where the troughing is formed of relatively heavy precast concrete sections), the very considerable weight of the cabling inside the troughing and the relatively inflexible and continuous nature of that cabling extending through sections of the troughing, to provide a stable foundation for the walkway.

Preferably the walkway comprises two location elements each extending substantially the length of the pavement section, spreading any lateral loading on the troughing along a length of the troughing. Additionally, where for example the troughing is in one metre sections, the panels may each also be one metre in length and laid staggered relative to the sections of troughing. Here the continuous nature of the location elements will ensure the panels are correctly aligned with the two sections of troughing each bridges, smoothing out the line of the walkway along the troughing. Handrails may also be provided where deemed necessary.

In an alternative arrangement, each panel may comprise at least four spaced apart location elements, with at least two arranged to each side of the centre line of the pavement section and with two located towards the front edge and two located towards the rear edge. This may reduce the weight of the panels or may enable them to be more easily positioned on existing cable troughing if adjacent sections of this are poorly aligned or following a relatively tight curve.

Advantageously the width of the panels is at least one and a half times, more preferably at least twice, the distance between the at least two location elements in the width direction, for this may provide a safe width of walkway. For example, for a 280mm width of troughing, the panels may be 800mm wide, with 50mm wide location elements and overhanging wings which extend a further 205mm to each side of the troughing.

Each panel is preferably formed of a composite resin based material Such a material may be relatively light, enabling the weight of a 1 meter panel to be twenty kilograms or less and to be lifted be a single individual if necessary. Larger panels may require multiple individual's for their installation. Such panels may also be formed by being moulded or by an pultrusion process. Each panel may be between 0.9 and 1 .1 metres in length and more preferably 1 metre in length, corresponding to the length of a section of cable troughing.

Each panel may have, in the plane of the panel, a convex front edge and a concave rear edge, to permit respective front and rear edges of adjacent panels to abut together over a significant portion of the width of the panels, even when the panels are arranged at an angle to each other.

Preferably each panel is provided with a rabbet with an upward facing cheek on one of its front or rear edges and a rabbet with a downward facing cheek on the opposite edge, permitting the edges of adjacent panels to overlap each other and thus tending to provide a flush upper surface to the walkway in the region of joints between adjacent pairs of panel. The walkway may then have one or more fastening extending through the rabbets of adjacent panels, to lock the adjacent panels together.

The upper surface of the panels may be provided with a slight fall towards the side edges, to cause water to run off and thus discourage the build-up of debris or slime or they may be provided with transverse drainage grooves.

Each panel may have one or more grub screws, or similar, extending there through, each arranged to engage with the top of troughing to permit the panels to be levelled, permitting the level of the panels to be easily adjusted after they have been laid on the troughing.

Bottom edges of the at least two location elements may be pointed to assist them, in use, to be driven into earth at the side of the troughing. A plurality of spacers may be provided which are arranged to be inserted between the location elements and the troughing, to jam the panels on the troughing.

The pavement section of each panel may be in the form of a grid with apertures extending downwardly there through, which will both provide drainage and a slip resistant surface, as well as greatly reducing the weight of the panels. Each panel may have a central section between the at least two location elements without apertures, or with covered apertures, and additionally have two wing portions extending outwardly to either side, each wing portion comprising a grid with apertures extending downwardly there through. This may permit the panels to replace the lid of conventional troughing. Additionally, the lower surface of the pavement section may have one or more downwardly extending portions arranged to be located between upper edges of sidewalls of the troughing, to resist the sidewalls of the troughing collapsing inwardly.

The walkway may further comprise a plurality of substantially C - shaped clips arranged to be inserted over the side edges of adjacent panels, to vertically align the edges of adjacent panels. The side edges of each panel may be provided with rabbets with upwardly facing cheeks, wherein the C - shaped clips are arranged to be partly accommodated in the rabbet, so that the clips do not protrude above the upper surface of the pavement sections to avoid them becoming a potential trip hazard.

Each pavement section may comprise wings arranged to overhang the sides of the troughing, the walkway further comprising a plurality of brackets secured through the wings to a lower surface of the wings, which brackets have downwardly extending portion which form the location elements. The brackets may be arranged to be positioned to clamp the troughing between them, prior to the fastenings being tightened to lock the brackets in place. The walkway may further comprise a handrail which may be secured to the brackets, secured to similar brackets or secured by some other means to the panels.

The wings may be formed of grids with apertures extending downwardly there through, the walkway further comprising fixings arranged to be received and located in said apertures to which fixing the brackets are secured. This enables the fixings to be mounted in the apertures, so as not to obstruct the upper surface of the pavement sections of the panels. According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a walkway comprising sections of troughing having substantially U-shaped channel sections with a walkway as claimed in any preceding claim laid on top. The pavement sections of the panels may form a lid of the troughing, or the troughing may comprise lids of substantially the same width as the U- shaped channels, separate to the panels. The troughing may be formed, for example, from concrete or a composite resin based material.

Several embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying figures, in which like numerals are used throughout to describe like or equivalent components and of which:

Figure 1 A is a plan view of a panel of a walkway in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 1 B is a side elevation of the panel of Figure 1 A;

Figure 1 C is an end elevation of the panel of Figures 1 A and 1 B shown mounted on cable troughing;

Figures 2A to 2C through to Figures 5A to 5C show corresponding views to those of Figures 1A to 1 C, with each set of figures illustrating a modified panel;

Figure 6 illustrates the use of spacers to secure a panel on cable troughing; Figure 7 illustrates the use of grub screw to level a panel on cable troughing;

Figures 8A is a plan view of a walkway in accordance with the present invention, illustrating how adjacent panels may be joined together; Figure 8B is a cross-section along the line 8B-8B of Figure 8A;

Figures 9A to 9C are respectively a plan view, a side elevation and a cross- section of an edge connector joining adjacent panels;

Figure 10 shows a panel having a plurality of location elements on each side;

Figure 1 1 A is a plan view of an alternative panel for use with the present invention;

Figure 1 1 B is an end elevation of the panel of 1 1 A, shown mounted to troughing and with a handrail attached; and

Figures 12A and 12B correspond to Figures 1 1 A and 1 1 B, but show an alternative means of attaching the panel to the troughing.

Referring to Figures 1 A to 1 C, these show one of a plurality of identical panels 1 of a walkway, which panels 1 are arranged to be mounted on cable troughing to provide the walkway.

The majority of existing cable troughing typically comprises of approximately 1 metre long base sections, traditionally of precast concrete. However, new troughing can be made from other materials such as composite resin based materials. Sections of troughing 3 arranged end to end are often embedded, or partly embedded, in the ground. Normally suitable lids 4 are provided which lie in a recess in the top of the base sections 3, to protect cabling in the base sections 3. Many thousands of miles of such troughing is already installed, to which a walkway in accordance with the present invention may be installed. However, a walkway in accordance with the present invention may be installed at the same time as new troughing is laid.

Each panel 1 is formed as a single homogenous structure from a relatively lightweight composite material, in this case a composite resin based material. Each panel 1 may be produced, for example, by a standard moulding or pultrusion processes. Each panel 1 has a planar upper pavement section 5 with two downwardly protruding location elements 6 and 7, which in this embodiment extend the length of the panel 1 and which are separated in a width direction to define a central space 8 to receive the troughing 2.

In the embodiment of Figures 1 A to 1 C, the location elements 6 and 7 extend 200mm below the lower surface of the pavement section 5 and are spaced 285mm apart, so that the central space 8 is slightly wider than the width of the standard troughing 2. This permits the panel 1 to be relatively easily placed on top of the troughing 2, but permits the location elements 6, 7 to then securely locate the pavement section 1 on the troughing 2. In this embodiment the lower ends of the location elements 6 and 7 are pointed, to assist them to be driven in to the ground, where the troughing 2 is already installed and is partly buried.

In the embodiment of Figures 1 A to 1 C, the pavement section 5 has a checker-plate pattern 9 formed on its upper surface, to resist pedestrian slipping. Alternatively it may have some other pattern, such as transverse grooves to assist drainage and thus help avoid the build-up of sludge, slime or ice, or it could be provided with a non-slip coating.

The pavement section 5 has a front edge 10 and rear edge 1 1 , each formed with a respective rabbet 12, 13. The rabbet 12 on the front edge 10 has a downward facing cheek 14 and rabbet 13 on the rear edge has an upward facing cheek 15. When adjacent panels 1 are positioned in a lengthwise direction on top of the cable troughing 2, the rabbets 12 and 13 form an overlapping rabbet joint, assisting in establishing a level surface across the joint between adjacent panels 1 .

Referring now to Figures 2A to 2C, these illustrates a very similar panel to that illustrated in Figures 1 A to 1 C, but here, as can be seen most clearly from Figures 2C, the lowermost ends of location elements 6 and 7 are squared off. This may be advantageous where the location elements 6 and 7 do not extend into the ground, extending the contact area between the location elements 6 and 7 and the troughing 2 further down the sides of the troughing 2 to provide greater stability to the panel 1 when located on the troughing 2. This type of panel 1 may be used where the troughing 2 is to be installed at the same time as the walkway, where the troughing is mounted flat on the surface of the ground or where it is possible to use the ground to provide additional support by supporting the lower ends of the location elements 6 and 7. Also shown in this embodiment, is an upper surface of the pavement section 5 which has a slight fall to either side, to prevent the retention of water on the upper surface and thus again resist the build-up of sludge, slime or ice.

Referring now to Figures 3A to 3C, these illustrate a further modified panel 1 . The pavement section of this panel can be considered to comprise three distinct regions, a central region 17 above the central space 8 between the location elements 6 and 7, a left-hand wing 18, forming an overhang to one side of the troughing 2 and a right-hand wing 19, forming an overhang to the other side of the troughing 2 of the panel 1 . Each of these three regions has a plurality of apertures 16 extending vertically there through, to provide drainage and also to provide a grid like structure to resist pedestrian slipping.

Additionally, in the arrangement illustrated in Figures 3A to 3C, the front edge 10 is convex in the plane of the pavement section 5 and the rear edge 1 1 is a corresponding concave shape. This permits the front edges 10 and rear edges 1 1 of adjacent panels 1 to abut together along the length of the edges, even when the adjacent panels 1 are, in the plane of the panels, at a slight angle to each other.

Referring now to Figures 4A to 4C, these show a panel 1 similar to that of Figures 3A to 3C, but with apertures 16 provided only in the region of the wings 18 and 19. Here the pavement section 5 has a solid central region 17 above central space 8 in which the troughing 2 is located. This may enable the panel 1 to itself be used as the lid for the troughing 2 and thus avoid the need for a separate lid. Referring to Figures 5A to 5C, these show a panel 1 , again similar to that illustrated in Figures 4A to 4C. However, in this embodiment the pavement section 5, as can be seen from Figure 5C, is provided with recesses 20 and 21 which run in the length direction to either side of the central space 8, adjacent to the inner faces of the location elements 6 and 7. The recesses 20 and 21 are arranged to engage with the upper edges of the base section 3 of the troughing 2 and prevent these from collapsing inwards. This is particularly advantageous where spacers 22 may be placed or driven in to any gap between the base section 3 of the troughing 2 and the location elements 6 and 7, before an adjacent panel 1 is put in place. The spacers 22, may be formed of rubber or plastic blocks or some such other suitable material and act to jam the base sections 3 of the troughing 2 between the location elements 6, 7, thus locking the panels 1 to the troughing 2 to provide a stable walkway, even when a pedestrian walks on the overhanging left or right hand wings 18, 19.

Figure 6 shows an embodiment which again uses spacers 22 in conjunction with troughing 2. Here the troughing 2 has a lid 4, with additional spacers 23 provided on top of the lid 4 towards the edges of the lid 4, to ensure that the panel 1 is supported at locations on the lid 4 having the widest possible separation, in order to increase the stability of the panel 1 on the troughing 2.

With reference to Figures 7, this shows an embodiment in which grub screws 24 are located in the pavement section 5 of the panel 1 . These can be used to level the panel 1 on the troughing 2 in order to align adjacent panels 1 to ensure that their upper surfaces are flush.

Referring to Figures 8A and 8B, these illustrate two adjacent identical panels 1 a and 1 b of a walkway abutting each other. Fastenings 25 extend through the rabbets 12 and 13 of the respective panels 1 a and 1 b, to lock the adjacent panels 1 a and 1 b together.

Referring to Figures 9A to 9C, these show respectively a plan view, a side elevation and a cross-section through an edge connector 26, which is substantially C-shaped in cross-section, as shown in Figure 9C. The edge connector 26 is a push-fit over the edges of adjacent panels 1 a, 1 b, where the front edges 10 and rear edges 1 1 abut each other. The edge connectors 26 act to lock the adjacent panels 1 a and 1 b together, such that their respective front and rear edges 10 and 1 1 are level to ensure the resultant walkway has a level upper surface. The panels illustrated in Figures 9A to 9C are provided with rabbets 27 along their side edges to accommodate the edge connectors 26, as shown in Figure 9C, such that the edge connectors 26 do not extend above the upper surface of the panels 1 a or 1 b. However, edge connectors similar to that illustrated in Figures 9A to 9C could be used with adjacent panels without rabbets on their side edges, such as with the panels illustrated in any of Figures 1 A to 8B. Here the C-shaped edge connectors would extend over and above the top edge of the panels. However, this could result in a potential trip hazard.

The panels 1 thus far illustrated have all been shown with two location elements 6 and 7, which extend along the entire length of the panels 1 . As with the other features, these two location elements 6 and 7 have been shown by way of example only. The location elements 6 and 7, thus far described, could instead be in the form of a plurality of smaller location elements, for example the four, 6a to 6d, per side shown in Figure 10. This may significantly reduce the weight of the panel 1 . Any number of location elements could be used and a panel could have four location elements in total, one located at each of the four corners of the central space 8. Alternatively, where adjacent panels 1 are to be secured together, it may be possible to have only two location elements on one panel which are used in combination with the location elements on an adjacent panel to secure the first panel in place.

Referring to Figures 1 1 A and 1 1 B, there is shown a further embodiment of a panel 1 for use with the present invention. This panel has a plurality of apertures 16 in a central region 17 and in the left-hand wings 18 and right-hand wing 19 as shown, substantially reducing the weight of the panel 1 and the material of the panel 1 . In the particular embodiment shown in Figures 1 1 A and 1 1 B a thin covering portion 28 is provided over the apertures 16 in the central region 17, so that this may provide a lid for the base section 3 of troughing 2, as illustrated in Figure 1 1 B. In this embodiment, brackets 29 and 30 are provided which are secured to the lower surface of the panel 1 , via fastenings 31 extending through the panel 1 . The fastenings 31 engage in the apertures 16 so as not to obstruct the surface of the panel 1.

Brackets 29 and 30 extend down the sides of the base section 3 of the troughing 2 and if the brackets are not particularly substantial, or do extend along a significant length of the troughing 3, these may be secured to the base section 3 of the troughing 2 by drilling through that troughing and inserting further fastenings 32. Alternatively apertures in the brackets may be threaded, with the fastenings being screwed through the brackets to clamp the troughing 2 between opposed brackets, without the need to drill the troughing 2 In either case, brackets 30 may additionally comprises a further downward extending portion 33 to which a handrail 34 is secured.

Although not shown in Figure 1 1 A, the brackets 29 and 30 may be located in the region of the joints between adjacent panels 1 , with the brackets 29 and 30, in their width direction, extending over the joints and with fastenings 31 being provided through apertures 16 in both the adjacent panels. The brackets 29 and 30 may then additionally serve to lock the adjacent panels 1 together, in a similar manner to the edge connectors described in previous embodiments.

Referring now to Figures 12A and 12B, these show an almost identical embodiment to that of Figures 1 1 A and 1 1 B, except that in this embodiment the brackets 29 are arranged to slide inwardly prior to being secured in place by the fastenings 31 . This enables the brackets 29 to be slid inwardly to sandwich the troughing 2 between the brackets 29 and the opposed brackets 30, prior to the brackets 29 being tightened in place, avoiding the need to drill the troughing 2.

Several embodiments of a walkway in accordance with the present invention have been described above with reference to the accompanying drawings. However, it will be appreciated that features from these various embodiments can be combined in various combinations, in addition to the specific combinations illustrated. The present invention is not to be limited to the embodiments depicted, nor is it to be limited to embodiments having a combination of the features of the illustrated embodiments, but instead the scope of protection should be determined with reference to the appended claims.