BikeGuard Protection Goes West

BikeGuard has recently been installed on the A379 Sandygate cloverleaf junction near Exeter.

The continuous barrier attachment, specifically designed to offer protection to motorcyclists, was requested by Devon County Council to act as a preventative measure against motorcyclists suffering high severity injuries from impacting the support posts of the existing safety barrier.

Two runs of 120m and 172m were supplied and installed by Highway Care at the beginning of July. With BikeGuard in place, a biker that impacts the barrier will now be redirected along the smooth continuous surface of the barrier attachment reducing the potential severity of injury from contact with the vertical support posts of the existing barrier.

Tim Hipwell, Collision Investigation Officer, Devon County Council comments:

“In recent years there had been a number of serious collisions along this particular section of the A379. Motorcyclists were losing control on the long, tight curvature of the bend which links the M5 and Exeter.

Detailed examination of the circumstances of the collisions showed that the riders were mainly locals who knew the road and were familiar with the layout.

For this reason, it was considered that additional warning signs or decreased speed limits would be inappropriate and ineffectual and that a proven secondary safety measure should be provided. BikeGuard has been introduced to this site with the aim of reducing the severity of injuries sustained by motorcycle riders who may lose control at this specific location.

Devon County Council, as a Beacon Authority for Road Safety, is always looking to install innovative road safety measures to further reduce the number and severity of collisions on the roads.”

BikeGuard is the first and currently only motorcycle barrier approved for use in the UK by its inclusion on the Highways Agency list of Approved Road Restraint Systems. Use of this type of barrier is recommended by TD 19/06 (Chapter 3, Part 8) in paragraphs 3.41 and 3.42:

3.41 At sites identified, e.g. through accident records, to be high risk to powered two-wheel vehicles, such as tight external bends, consideration must be given to the form of VRS chosen to minimise the risk to this category of driver. Any special requirements must be stated in the contract.

3.42 At such high risk sites, it is recommended to use an “add on” motorcycle protection system to post and rail type safety barriers to minimise the risk of injury to motorcyclists. The Design Organisation must check with the safety barrier manufacturer that any such proposed protection will not invalidate the tests on the safety barrier. Such “add on” products must be approved by the Overseeing Organisation and be compatible with the safety barrier to which it is being attached as these products are not included within BS EN 1317.


Editor’s Notes:

  • View MAGs Crash Barrier Information Here

  • FEMAs “Road to Success” Here

  • Highway Care Ltd is the supplier of road safety products and services for use on high speed trunk roads and lower speed municipal roads.

  • BikeGuard is a lower steel beam barrier attachment which fits below the existing safety barrier to improve safety performance when impacted by motorcyclists. The metal panel protects the motorcyclist from injuring themselves on exposed support posts of the existing barrier. The development of a special hanging bracket means that BikeGuard can be attached to open box beam and tensioned corrugated beam barriers. The system has been tested to the European Standard CEN 1317 and is approved for use by the Highways Agency.

  • Highways Agency publication no. TD 19/06. Design manual for roads and bridges: Vol. 2 Highway structures: design (substructures and special structures) materials. Section 2 Special structures. Part 8 Requirement for road restraint systems. Corporate Author: Highways Agency; Publisher: TSO (The Stationery Office), Published: 16/08/06

Issued by
Trevor Baird
General Secretary MAG UK
Tel: +44 (0)1788 570065
Fax: +44 (0)1788 570052

The UK’s Leading Riders’ Rights Organisation