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The end to slippery manhole covers?

New campaign could see slippery Victorian system replaced with modern-day technology

THE Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) have launched a campaign to replace old metal manhole covers with a modern non-slip version to improve road safety.

The campaign, called Get A Grip, aims to highlight to councils the easily available solution to inconsistent grip levels on the UK's road surfaces. The campaign highlights the benefits of both non-slip manhole covers and non-slip overbanding - a rapidly developing technology that has seen a dramatic reduction in cost over the past decade.

The manhole covers are made from a composite material, featuring a non-slip surface, which offers good grip even in the wet. They're not made from metal and therefore are less likely to be stolen for scrap.

Another issue with metal manhole covers is that they wear over time. Rain and salt on the roads further accelerate this. Once a manhole cover has worn it starts to rock, this rocking motion damages the surrounding tarmac, causing potholes. In most cases the utility services are responsible for the manhole covers but not the surrounding tarmac, so the council have to repair the surrounding tarmac but the broken manhole cover will continue to cause structural damage to the road, which the council will then have to repair again. It can turn into an almost endless cycle.

The new manhole covers, made in the UK by Structural Science Composites in Cumbria are not made from metal and will not rust, rock and cause damage to the tarmac surrounding the manhole cover, therefore meaning less council money will be needed to repair potholes in the road.

These councils are currently trialling the manhole covers: Hackney, Staffordshire, Bedfordshire, Devon, East Sussex, Swansea, Sheffield and North Somerset.

If you'd like to see these new manholes on the roads, sign the Get A Grip petition here.

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