UK gets first bike friendly crash barriers

Published: 14 August 2009

The UK’s first bike friendly crash barrier has been installed in County Durham.
Made in Spain the Biker-Safe barrier has been designed to absorb the energy of a crashing bike and prevent riders hitting support pillars, which is one of the main causes of serious injuries or death.

A spokesman for Durham Police, the country’s most bike friendly force said: “Normal roadside barriers are designed to retain cars, vans and trucks but in many instances can be deadly for motorcyclists who collide with them.

“A recent report noted that “motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to be killed in a crash than car occupants and fifteen times more likely if they hit a barrier.”

The new barrier has been installed along a stretch of the A689, close to the entrance of Killhope Lead Museum in upper Weardale.

It is essentially a containment mesh fitted to the lower section of an existing barrier. It is fireproof, maintenance free and recyclable. 

Durham Police has teamed up with Durham County Council and SignPost Solutions to pioneer the use of the barrier in the UK for free.

If it proves successful these organisations hope to add it to more roads, and convince other counties to follow County Durham’s lead.

Beside the installation of the barriers Durham County Council is exploring whether special pads or other protection could be fixed to road signs and lampposts, so that if a biker collides with one of them the impact would be reduced.