BMF campaigns against wire road barriers

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Published on 29 January 2021 by Mike Waters

The British Motorcyclists Federation is highlighting a study conducted by a student at Queen’s University Belfast into motorcyclists’ attitudes towards the use of wire road barriers and their thoughts on alternative designs. You can contribute to it here.

While wire road barriers may stop a larger vehicle, they can be particularly hazardous for motorcyclists due to the risk of striking a metal support pillar at speed or going beneath the wire to emerge on the other side of a road in the face of oncoming traffic. Impact with the wires themselves, which are usually galvanised steel, can also be dangerous or even lethal. Despite this, wire road barriers are often seen as cheaper alternatives to full concrete barriers.

The BMF has conducted a long-running campaign against the use of wire road barriers and Northern Ireland Regional Chairman Howard Anderson has extensive involvement with this issue. Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure has already conceded that wire road barriers can be dangerous for motorcyclists, but said that replacing them was currently unlikely for a number of regulatory and technical reasons. 

Howard said: “This campaign has been ongoing over very many years, both by myself as local BMF rep and by Trevor and Elaine from Right to Ride. It was campaigned for alternative barriers to be used on the A8 upgrade to dual carriageway and when central barriers were being installed on the A1. As usual, our concerns on safety were taken on board but it was down to vehicle usage and budgets as to the system chosen.”

BMF Motorcycle Rider has examined wire road barriers and the dangers they can pose to motorcyclists in greater detail, and you can read the feature here

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You can join the BMF and help us protect the rights of motorcyclists for just £28 a year. Find out more here.

 

Picture credit: "SR 20 west of Burlington" by WSDOT (licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)