The ugly security barriers protecting Windsor following recent terrorist vehicle attacks in London could soon be replaced by more aesthetically pleasing columns and gates.

In a briefing given to members of the Royal Borough's tourist development forum on Tuesday the Royal Borough's head of highways David Scott revealed that meetings with top security company BMD were being held. The aim was to find more attractive ways of protecting soldiers and the public during the high profile changing of the guard ceremony in the town.

He emphasised that whatever alternative equipment was installed would have to be capable of containing and restraining an 18 ton vehicle as effectively as the current ugly barrages do.

He said: "Even smaller vehicles can be used as a weapon. They have to be seen now as weapons in their own right - quite apart from being a means of carrying bombs."

He said it was hoped that a system of static columns and gates would provide security while merging in much better with the surrounding historic buildings than the bulky barrages do now.

He said: "We are hoping for final proposals within a couple of weeks. The cost would be shared between Thames Valley police, the borough and central Government."