Get A Grip campaign update

Tomorrow sees the final meeting of a steering group overseeing some collaborative research being carried out by the Water Research Centre in Swindon.

Entitled ‘Improving management of street ironworks’ it involves 4 water companies and 3 access cover manufacturers and is examining, among other things, the skid resistance qualities of retro fit products such as Primark.

The study is also examining the Highways Agency Guidelines (HA104/09) for best practise on the grip levels of ironwork necessary in certain zones, such as the approach to stop signs, roundabouts, on steep hills etc and the current acceptable industry standards which permit ironwork to sink up to 20mm below the road surface. We all know as riders how dramatic the deflection can be when a motorcycle hits a manhole cover that has sunk 20mm, especially in the rain!

Get A Grip! welcomes the fact that some Water companies are taking an active part in examining their ironworks, even though grip levels and the positioning of covers is only a part of the overall study.

The enlightened utilities companies involved are United Utilities, N Ireland Water, Severn Trent and Thames Water.

Although Severn Trent and United Utilities already have a framework in place to start using our preferred new technology composite covers, this study is focussing only on the ironwork they are responsible for. As such, manufacturers Wrekin and Saint Gobain are involved. Saint Gobain are the makers of ‘Grip Top’ which won a Prince Michael of Kent road safety award in 2009 after Motorcycle Action Group nominated the product.