The former student would often see safety equipment blown over and failing to provide the required protection in areas of roadworks.
Frank realised a traffic cone did not need to be three dimensional. From a simple idea which used less than one third of the raw material needed in a traditional round cone, he developed a flatcone. This became one of Frank’s trademarks and he became known as ‘Flat Frank’.
The alumnus received permission to conduct a flatcone trial on the A34 near Newbury. This was followed by another trial where 1,000 flatcones were used on a contraflow on the M1 Motorway just south of Loughborough.
Police reports following the trials were extremely favourable. The Assistant Chief Constable described them as a significant safety improvement, which led to the flatcone being accepted into the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions.
The police suggested to Frank that the slimline concept of a flatcone blade would be able to save space in their vehicles. With a designer colleague, Frank developed a soundly engineered product, Quickcone.
The Quickcone was launched at a safety exhibition in Amsterdam and then at the International Association of Chiefs of Police exhibition in Minneapolis, which successfully led to the Chief of Police for NYPD securing an order of Quickcones worth $55,000.
Through the commercial success of Quickcone, Frank gained a coveted British Design Award. The award requires commercial success, as well as design excellence.
The British Design Award Judges commented:
“In addition to its ease of storage it is good value for money and highly robust and can be used by both emergency services and the public.”
The success saw Frank awarded with Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1995 for services to road safety and to export.