Non-slip manhole covers get UK green light

By Steve Farrell -

 19 February 2008 14:28

Slippery manhole covers could be consigned to history if UK proposals are accepted by Europe, the British Motorcyclists Federation has said.

New non-slip manhole covers offer equivalent grip to a good quality road surface, according to the BMF.

The UK committee working on revising European standards has agreed to recommend the covers as a minimum requirement, the group said.

A spokesman said it could lead to “a safer European-wide road network for bikers”.
He said: “The next stage will be to address this matter at a European level to gain support and agreement from the other countries.”

Chris Hodder, the BMF’s government relations executive said: “As motorcyclists we know we need a level of skid resistance equal to that of the main carriageway, but what we needed was a technical specification and that’s what we have now been able to agree on.”

David Short, the Motorcycle Action Group’s campaigns manager, said: “It is the simple measures that can make so much difference and save lives. The European and UK Government now need to show some leadership, effect a change in the skid resistance standard and make our roads safer for vulnerable road users.”

Sheila Rainger, head of campaigns for the RAC Foundation, added: "No-one needs to be put at risk by a slippery manhole cover in the road surface.

"Safer covers are available but they are rarely used because the current European Standard does not require covers to be skid-resistant in real-world conditions.

"If the UK is successful in amending the standard, the roads will be safer for motorcyclists and for other vulnerable road users.”