"Wire rope needed on rural roads"

1 of 1

Single-carriageway rural roads should have wire barriers in the middle despite the danger to riders, Government has been told.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) says the move would reduce road deaths, but admits it does not know what the effect would be for motorcyclist casualties.

Motorcyclists in New Zealand are campaigning for the removal of wire barriers – nicknamed “cheese cutters” – after a 21-year-old rider was sliced in two in October.
They consist of wire ropes suspended between exposed metal posts.

The IAM Motoring Trust has urged the Government to copy Sweden and the Netherlands, where the barriers have been introduced to remove the risk of head-on collisions. 

The IAM rated roads across the UK using a star system and found rural single-carriageway roads scored only two stars out of a maximum four. 

The Trust told Government wire central barriers could help improve the roads’ rating.
IAM director Neil Greig said: “We’re recommending them as one possible solution to how we upgrade our roads from two-star to three-star to four-star.”

He said our rural roads should be “re-engineered” into “two-plus-one” roads – three-lane roads with one lane for traffic in one direction and two for the other.

The side with the extra lane alternates so that traffic in both directions has “overtaking opportunities”.

See the IAM’s road star rating report here.

For more on this story, get MCN, on sale December 12. 





Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell