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      POT HOLES - DIESEL SPILLS - MUD ON THE ROAD - MAN HOLE COVERS - ROAD SURFACE DEFECTS - EXCESSIVE OVERBANDING - MOTORCYCLE FRIENDLY

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Fill It In Manhole Cover

Consultation on Standards

1st November 2007

FEMA Response Pdf

UK Response Word Document

Bristol Pioneers

Background

The motorcycle community across Europe has responded to a consultation regarding Manhole Covers.

A response was submitted by the Traffic Management, Planning and Transport Policy sub-group of the National Motorcycle Council, and was countersigned jointly by the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF); the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA); the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG); the Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers (IHIE); and the Royal Automobile Club Foundation for Motoring (RAC F). 

The response by the stakeholder group stated that the current European Standard on manhole covers, EN 124, which does not specify minimum grip levels in use. The covers are designed for durability in terms of mechanical stability, i.e., they do not break, deform, or displace, not for adequate and sustained levels of skid resistance. 

Where grip is required, the standard recommends a texture be applied to the cover. However, in use, the skid resistance of many covers deteriorates rapidly as they become polished by passing traffic. This results in a cover with poor skid resistance compared to the surrounding highway.

Manholes - Positioning - Anti Skid Surface Worn Off
For motorcyclists, and certain other road user groups including pedestrians and horse riders, this sudden change in grip can be the direct cause of injury or death. Covers with good skid resistance potential do exist but are not widely used, at least in part because the existing standard can be used to justify their rejection. 

Meanwhile the Federation of European Motorcyclists Federation (FEMA) which represents 24 national riders' rights organisations from 19 countries across Europe, in its response, stated that a common factor regarding concerns of motorcyclists across Europe is that Manhole (inspection) covers present a significant road safety hazard to users.

We hope you will share our view that amending the proposed standard to require the use of covers with acceptable in-service skid/slip resistance is absolutely necessary and that it could make a lasting difference to road safety for vulnerable road users.

UK Response Here Word Document

FEMA Response Here Pdf

BRISTOL PIONEERS REVOLUTIONARY NEW KIND OF MANHOLE COVER

12th May 2006

Anti Skid Surface Man Hole Cover

Bristol is set to become the first city in Europe to introduce a new kind of manhole cover to help reduce the risk of skidding for motorcyclists and cyclists.

Bristol City Council and the Bristol Alliance have chosen to introduce a new type of manhole cover on the new road system that forms part of the 500 million Broadmead expansion project.

The new type of covers, designed and produced by Saint Gobain Pipelines and Stirling Lloyd, aims to reduce the likelihood of skidding.

Motorcycling groups have been asking us for some time to introduce anti-skid covers. The engineers working on the new Broadmead development have endeavoured to design the road to avoid positioning covers on bends where heavy braking is likely.

However with a multitude of utilities on the highway, this is not always possible. This new type of cover should make the road much safer for two wheeled traffic;" said Executive Member for Transport, Cllr Dennis Brown.

A safety audit carried out on the design for the new road system that opened last week, identified the need for skid resistant materials to ensure the safety of motorcyclists and cyclists. The new EN124 standard is due to come into force in 3 years time, requiring manufacturers to test the skid resistance value of manhole covers.

Bristol is ahead of other cities in pioneering this new type of manhole cover on its new road system.

The new Broadmead development, scheduled to open in 2008, will also feature new motorcycle parking areas that have been designed in accordance with the Institute of Highway and Incorporated Engineers Guidelines for Motorcycling.

Author: Myra Johnson

MAG member Richard Stiling who organises the Bristol Bike Show every year, has also been campaigning to get standards changed for the construction of manhole covers.

Their slippery surfaces can pose a problem to motorcyclists, pedal cyclists and pedestrians. Richard has been trying for many years to get the standard for their surface to be made more grippy.

At last his work is beginning to bear fruit. In Bristol, among other places, new manhole covers are being tested to see whether they improve matters for road users.

On Saturday 6th May, at Bristol MAG Awareness Day at Fowlers Motorcycle Store, we displayed one of the new anti-skid manhole covers that Bristol City Council is trying out in the city centre redevelopment.

Bristol Gets a Grip on Manhole Covers and Motorcycle Parking

December 2005

Original Tony Sharpe IHIE
The centre of Bristol is currently embarking on a major reconfiguration to its inner circuit road to accommodate the construction of a 500m shopping centre expansion.

The safety audit carried out on the new (up to 10 lane) carriageways called for the use of anti-skid manhole covers.

Whilst British Standard utility covers are classed as anti-skid by virtue of the covers being castellated, two wheeled vehicles in particular can loose grip and skid when crossing these covers.

A new EN124 standard is due to come into force in 2 years time which will require a higher standard of skid resistance on utility covers.

This is likely to take the form of fine 'sharp' hard wearing stone of a similar nature to that used on areas approaching pedestrian crossings and hazardous bends. The normal slippery castellated manhole cover surface will hopefully become a thing of the past.

Bristol City Council, the Broadmead Alliance and St Gobain Pipelines with support from Hoare Lea and Capita Symonds Consulting Engineers and utility companies have taken the initiative of 'trialing' this type of cover 'en mass' throughout the new highways.

The covers will be produced in factory controlled conditions and even colour matched to the adjacent road surfaces! Both cycling and motorcycling are encouraged in Bristol to help ease congestion and parking issues in this busy city. Powered two wheelers (PTW's) are allowed to use bus lanes and cycling provision has been made both in the form of shared footway surfaces and advisory cycle lanes.

Utility covers have always given the users of two wheeled transport heart stopping moments when wet (usually on a bend!).

The designers have not only introduced this new type of cover but have additionally been mindful of the 'desire lines' of two wheeled traffic and endeavoured, wherever possible to locate covers away from bends, outside of riders wheel tracks and areas where heavy braking is likely; however in a city centre environment with a multitude of utilities in the highway, it has not always been possible to locate every cover outside these high risk areas.

The covers are to be utilised throughout the works as the risk of loosing grip on utility covers is present for two wheeled vehicles even in low risk areas on straights and areas where heavy braking would not normally be expected.

New motorcycle parking areas are also to be provided, the design of which will be in accordance with the recently published guidance given within the Institute of Highway and Incorporated Engineers Guidelines for Motorcycling.

Construction of the new carriageways is commencing imminently. We hope that by the end of next summer the new road surfaces will be in place complete with new non shiney manhole covers!

Motorcycling groups have been asking us for some time to introduce anti-skid covers.

The engineers working on the new Broadmead development have endeavoured to design the road to avoid positioning covers on bends where heavy braking is likely.

However with a multitude of utilities on the highway, this is not always possible.

This new type of cover should make the road much safer for two wheeled traffic;" said Executive Member for Transport, Cllr Dennis Brown.

A safety audit carried out on the design for the new road system that opened last week, identified the need for skid resistant materials to ensure the safety of motorcyclists and cyclists.

The new EN124 standard is due to come into force in 3 years time, requiring manufacturers to test the skid resistance value of manhole covers.

Bristol is ahead of other cities in pioneering this new type of manhole cover on its new road system.

The new Broadmead development, scheduled to open in 2008, will also feature new motorcycle parking areas that have been designed in accordance with the Institute of Highway and Incorporated Engineers Guidelines for Motorcycling.

Author: Myra Johnson

MAG member Richard Stiling who organises the Bristol Bike Show every year, has also been campaigning to get standards changed for the construction of manhole covers.

Their slippery surfaces can pose a problem to motorcyclists, pedal cyclists and pedestrians.

Richard has been trying for many years to get the standard for their surface to be made more grippy.

At last his work is beginning to bear fruit. In Bristol, among other places, new manhole covers are being tested to see whether they improve matters for road users.

On Saturday 6th May, at Bristol MAG Awareness Day at Fowlers Motorcycle Store, we displayed one of the new anti-skid manhole covers that Bristol City Council is trying out in the city centre redevelopment.

MANHOLE COVERS AND SERVICE ACCESS COVERS by Richard Stiling

February 2004

Anti Skid Manhole Cover

Background


MAG adopted a national campaign in 2002 to address the problems that manhole covers and service access covers present to two-wheel vehicle use in view of the following facts:

Unsurfaced manhole covers and service access covers used in the highway are an unacceptable hazard to two-wheel vehicle users. The sudden change from a tarmac to metal surface can cause instability and loss of control with dire consequences. This is exacerbated in wet conditions. Frightening experiences are commonplace.

2. Highway architecture is an important consideration in traffic safety.

3. Manhole covers and service access covers are governed by British Standard BS7903. This standard has no frictional component whatsoever.

4. There has been no research on the effects that these covers have on two-wheel vehicular use. National 'accident' statistics do not include notification of service cover relevance.

5. STATS19 is the 'accident' report form the Police fill out in instances of personal injury in a traffic incident. It is worded to exclude the recording of whether a service cover was significant to the incident."

Information

Any worn, cracked, or displaced covers should be reported to your local highway authority who must mix it.

Raised covers when in road surfacing works and therefore in a temporary road conditions have to be negotiated carefully. There will be warning signs.

Detail:

"Police incident reports (STATS 19) exclude reporting of the significance of MH covers.

Courts rule that because the covers are employed in accordance to BS EN 124:1994 they constitute a valid road surface and therefore any loss of control is due to 'inappropriate speed for the conditions'. The lack of a frictional component to BS EN 124:1994 is not
considered.",

Latest News:

I have been in contact with the Secretary of the B/505 Wastewater Engineering Committee that draws up BS EN 124:1994 (the dreaded BS standard for manhole covers). Who has replied thus;

"I have been in touch with the Chairman of our appropriate technical committee who is very interested in the evidence you have of "considerable danger" in connection with MH covers with respect to motorbikes. There is a difficulty in obtaining good evidence of such problems, so anything you have would be of interest.

Vehicular skid and pedestrian slip issues are in the process of being addressed by the European technical committee, as an "essential requirement" of the revised harmonised EN124, and therefore any sound information you are able to to share with the UK mirror committee would be of interest in our deliberations."

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