East Antrim welcome for move away from ‘cheese cutter’ wire rope road barriers

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson has welcomed a Department for Infrastructure commitment to install rigid-style central reservation barriers in place of wire rope on future road schemes where they are required.

Mr Wilson, a keen biker, said: “The motorcycling community have been campaigning against these barriers for a long time because of the severe damage which it does to motorcyclists who hit the rope, travel along it and then have sustained severe damage to their leg when they make contact with the upright which holds the wire rope.

“Only a year ago the minister did promise that she would monitor the situation and I am glad that she has now introduced regulations which will see no new rope barriers erected and the existing ones replaced with rigid barriers when they are due for replacement or when they have been damaged.”

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The DUP representative added: “This is a victory for motorcyclists and their safety and I welcome the fact that the minister has finally responded positively to the lobby and the irrefutable case which was presented.

Motorcyclists have been campaigning against the use of wire rope barriers on central reservations. Image by Google.

“Too often motorcyclists are given very low priority when it comes to transport and infrastructure policies, but this is an example of where constant lobbying can produce results.”

The issue has also been raised previously by East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA John Stewart, who wrote to the department in 2019 about the Larne to Hillhead road junction stretch of the A8 dual carriageway..

Mr Stewart said at the time: “What concerns me is the length of time it takes and the costs incurred for fixing the wire ropes and posts after accidents. Also I have asked what analysis has been carried out on the safety record of these type of barriers. They are very common in Australia and New Zealand but concerns have been raised about the dangers they pose to motorcyclists who have dubbed them ‘cheese cutters’.” Click here


East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

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