Thursday, November 19, 2009, 14:00
Road safety for bikers and cyclists could be improved – by the introduction of ’pioneering’ anti-skid manhole covers to eight of Bristol’s accident blackspots.
Work is under way this week to install 16 Griptop covers to replace traditional iron covers, which can be slippery in wet weather and lead to accidents.
Bristol City Council became the first authority in the country to use the non-slip covers, which are topped with aggregate to offer more grip for motorcyclists and cyclists, when they were introduced on the new roads created as part of the Cabot Circus shopping centre development.
After the ’satisfactory introduction’ of the Griptop covers at Cabot Circus, the council will now bring them in at eight further sites in the city in a bid to reduce the number of accidents the iron covers cause.
These are St Anne’s Road roundabout approach, A4 Brislington Hill/Church Hill junction, Lawfords Gate junction, St Mary Redcliffe Church roundabout, Whitehouse Street bend, Ravenhill Road/St John’s Lane roundabout and M32 junction 2 roundabout.
The dangers posed to motorcyclists and cyclists by traditional metal access covers have been highlighted by the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations, which called for the use of covers with “skid resistance”.
Kate Hartas, spokeswoman for Bristol City Council, said: “Following their satisfactory introduction at Cabot Circus, the council is about to introduce a further 16 covers at eight sites around the city as an accident prevention pilot programme.
“Bristol’s work in this area is regarded nationally as leading the way. Bristol is pioneering this technology and was the first authority to introduce Griptop.
“The Griptop covers will replace standard Wessex Water covers at sites chosen following accident investigation by the Road Safety Engineering Team, in some cases based on recommendations from the Motorcycle Action Group, a national motorcycling organisation.”
The council said it did not hold figures on the number of accidents caused by vehicles skidding on manhole covers.
Work to install the new covers began on Monday and should be completed by the end of the month.