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Steve Farrell  says:

The road with 200 manhole covers per mile

A road in Cambridgeshire with 200 slippery manhole cover per mile has been branded “fantastically dangerous” for motorcyclists by a councillor. The main road through Cambourne, a new village, is designed to keep traffic within 20mph by blocking forward vision with a series of bends. But planners seem to have overlooked the fact that for every bend in the road,...

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  • Posted 5 years ago (26 February 2010 15:34)

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Sep 09

Posts: 144

Enemy says:


idiot that knows nothing bashing motorcyclists again, next up wearing high vis will save you from car drivers that dont look?

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Mar 08

Posts: 44

Charro says:

I Despair!!!!

This is a typical example of paid council officers not doing a professional and proper job.

There is no shortage of guidance on engineering safe roads for motorcyclists e.g. the Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers (IHIE) Guidelines for Motorcycling.

Then of course there’s the Saint-Gobain Pipelines ‘Grip Top’ a service cover (that’s a manhole cover to you and me) that offers levels of grip comparable to the surrounding road surface and which is also capable of durable performance under intense traffic over a decade and conforms to BS EN 124.

See here:

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Jul 08

Posts: 412


manhole covers

Its not only motorcyclists that are put at risk, its also cyclists aswell. Manhole covers are slippery enough when they're new, its when they become worn and smooth that they are lethal when wet. Travelling along the roads on this new estate will present a real hazard when bikes lean over as they negotiate each bend. What with planners creating speed bumps and road centre trafic islands in their persuit to slow vehicles down have created far worse problems for road users.

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Nov 03

Posts: 470

kl595 says:


Some 15 years ago when I worked at BT, I specified a non-slip manhole cover for a cable chamber I designed in Oxford Street, London. The technology has been around for decades but the problem is designers aren't trained to think about bikes. I only specified it because I was and still am a biker. Most designers don't take into account the needs of road users unless they are on four wheels. They need to be made aware of the safety implications of their actions.There's absolutely no reason not to consider non-slip manhole covers. If they design them without, they aren't doing their job properly in my opinion.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Mar 08

Posts: 118

tman39a says:

Local Jack Asses

When will councillors admit they know bugger all about the real world....its insane to design roads like that...if a small vehicle breaks down around these blind bends you have created a potential accident spot...20 mph for a car to stop from is ok...but buses or bigger is a whole different story.

Kate Wood should be made to account for the design as clearly they didn't get anywhere near creating a 'SAFE' road.

If drivers can't see around a bend then pedestrian can't see the traffic either......doooooooooooh.

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Jul 09

Posts: 5

fz6blue says:

Slippery local manholes

I live in Cambourne and MCN is right, its full of manhole covers.  Several times in heavy rain, car and bus drivers will come veering around the corner too fast and over the centre line, only to make me swerve onto the manhole covers.  Its a nasty feeling having your bike slide underneath you on a corner and theres nothing much you can do but wait for the bike to get back traction.

However, there are many more dangers here than just the manholes.  Being a new estate/'village' and still under construction in most parts, the roads are often covered with detritus brought in by the builders lorries, I've seen plenty of nails and large rocks scattered across the corners but the worst has to be the thick dollops of mud on the corners.

These factors combined make my night time commute very exciting indeed and I can't imagine it would be a huge job to switch the manhole covers with non slip to atleast get rid of that issue.

Cheers for highlighting this local hazard though MCN, it needs to be addressed.

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Oct 02

Posts: 1

np_sharehldr says:

Restricting forward visibility a safety measure is it...

The piece in MCN explains that the road has been designed to reduce forward vision in places as a safety measure. I wouldn't mind meeting the committee that came up with that one and ask if they bothered to talk the local Police about it. All the driver training I have had has emphasised the importance of reading the road ahead and the further the better. Looking at the picture it appears at first glance to have been designed for its appearance rather than safety. Where are the pavements for the pedestrians that I presume this is all in aid of protecting. Oh, and no I didn't fall off my chair when I learnt that the einstein of the local planning office admitted she wasn't a motorcyclist. So the motorcyclists of Cambourne can rest easy that consideration was given to them when all this was concocted. With all those manholes its possible tranquil is not what Cambourne will be described as in a few years once they start to loosen up and rattle as the cars and buses make there way along that stretch. Perhaps Cambridgeshire District Council have that in hand as loose or broken manhole covers would surely compromise road safety.

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Nov 07

Posts: 541


Erm... So... The road is 'bendy' to restrict vision? Vision of the driver who decides to do 40mph anyway and have fun on the 'race-track' and bendy so the little kid can't see the 'racing driver' coming before meeting an untimely and unnecessary death...........


A SAFE ROAD... This would be a STRAIGHT ROAD with all road furniture set well back from the edges and clear visibility within 10-20 meters of the road on either side. Proper signed junctions. Adequate lighting. Great road surface with all manhole covers and other 'access' hatches built into the pavements on either side. Drainage built into the kerb stones which are also set at a 45 degree angle to the road surface. Mini-roundabouts where required. Single file 'priority' giveways at equal intervals to keep speeds down and keep drivers awake.


I ain't no Einstein but even I could design and most likely build a 'safer' road that the twat that is responsible for this fuckup! IF it was such an issue why the hell did they not simply build a bloody by pass to keep the majority of the traffic OUT of the town in the first instance????????????????


As for idiots... Roads round my way are literally falling to pieces and over the last week I have been hampered in my daily business by workmen installing SPEED HUMPS!!!! No joke... Inbetween the potholes and subsidence and generally almost passable road surface we now have lovely red speed table thingies which further restrict my use of my local access to and from my house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Council planners? Having a laugh! Whatever happened to brains and ingenuity in Britain??????????

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Aug 02

Posts: 67

BusaBeater says:

This may seem a radical idea to all the numb-nuts in council road planning departments - why don't they run pipes under the pavements (and therefore the inspection covers) instead ?



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Jul 09

Posts: 81


np_sharehldr is completely right.  Lots of twists and turns that reduce forward visibility don't make the road dangerous for motorcyclists - they make it dangerous for everyone.  Even at the mandatory 20mph, if you can't see what's ahead how can you react accordingly?  Let's say someone else has ignored the limit and has skidded in the rain on a manhole cover?  This is crazy and dangerous planning.

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