Motorcycle Working Group looks to revamp roads to be safer for bikes & bikers

It’s hoped that the ‘Guide to Designing for Motorcyclists’ will maximise motorcyclists safety on the roads by reminding engineers of the issues riders face.

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We often hear news of motorcyclists being under-represented in the planning stages of the road network in the UK and England - so it makes a change to be reporting the opposite, as National Highways has outlined measures to make the roads safer for bikers.

National Highways (which is the rebranded name of Highways England) published a ‘Guide to Designing for Motorcyclists’ document for its highways engineers to follow, ensuring maximised safety by highlighting the day-to-day issues that riders may face when out enjoying two wheels. 

This is all a result of the Motorcycle Working Group, a specialist subgroup set up by Highways England in 2015 to provide briefings and information on what bikers need on the roads. 

Primarily, road engineers are advised on improving the safety of motorcyclists by providing more information on infrastructure from a motorcyclists perspective.

A few other examples are not positioning new manhole covers on the road (where possible) or applying skid-resistant covers to them, removing old road markings before applying fresh ones, and ensuring skid-resistant and grippy road surfaces are laid where motorcyclists may lose grip. 

Away from the road surface itself, the guide also recommends refraining from placing roadside features (like trees, barriers, posts etc) in places where they may cause issues for motorcyclists, like the outside of bends, or refrain from using them at all where possible.

Safer roads for British motorcyclists?

BMF Director, Anna Zee, says “National Highways listened, took note and have updated their standards as a result. It’s not going to be a quick process but we can look forward to roads better suited to motorcycle use. I am pleased to see additions have been made to the road safety audit checks with motorcyclists in mind. Thanks are due to the National Highways staff and the representatives of MAG, MCIA, NABD, South Gloucestershire who took part in the talks.”

There is a target to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the ‘Strategic Road Network’ to support a decrease of at least 50% by the end of 2025 against the 2005-09 average baseline’.

If you want a full read of the guide, it’s 19 pages long and found on the Highways England page

Source: BMF

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