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“If there’s an accident there’s going to be a fatality”: A11 “cheese cutter” barriers criticised

PUBLISHED: 15:07 31 July 2014 | UPDATED: 15:09 31 July 2014

The A11 Elveden bypass

The A11 Elveden bypass

Archant

Motorcycle groups have raised safety concerns over the use of “cheese cutter” wire central reservation barriers on the newly dualled stretch of the A11.

A petition has been launched to replace the wire barriers, which campaigners believe to be a “high risk” to motorcyclists and scooters. It has had more than 3,500 signatures.

Paul Milner, vice chairman of Norfolk Advanced Motorcyclists, said the barriers were safe for cars, but fatal for bikers.

“They restrain four wheel vehicles effectively, but they are nicknamed chesse cutters and have been banned from certain countries in the EU. However, the Highways Agency like them because they are cheaper.

“If there’s an accident it’s going to be a fatality and that’s the point - these barriers will kill bikers,” he said.

Mr Milner, who has been a biker for more than 50 years, said concrete barriers, such as those used on stretches of the M25, were much safer.

“Whenever you crash on a motorcycle it’s going to hurt, but at least with the concrete barriers it will be a matter of broken bones rather than death,” he said.

The Highways Agency say the barriers are suitable on straight stretches of road.

A spokesman said: “We are committed to providing safe roads for all road users and any safety barriers we install comply with approved standards.

“This section of the A11 is generally very straight and there has been no significant accident history regarding motorcycles. Wire rope safety fence has been installed because it is a compliant, approved system and is deemed to be an appropriate safety measure for this location.”

The spokesman added that the Elveden bypass has been designed with long shallow bends, which should mitigate risk to motorists.

What do you think of the barriers? Should they be removed? Let us know by emailing reporter Andrew Fitchett on andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

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