The beginning of the end for wire rope barriers: MAG Northern Ireland victory

wire rope barriers

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is delighted to advise that there has been a victory for common sense and road safety in Northern Ireland, with the use of wire rope barriers on roads being terminated.

MAG NI Rep, Martyn Boyd, has been working hard on this issue for some time, along with input from MAG’s Political Unit (Colin Brown and Lembit Öpik) and Ian Churchlow, Director and incoming Vice Chair.

A sustained campaign, culminating in a strong case being put to the Department of Infrastructure and Minister Nicola Mallon, has now resulted in a positive outcome for road safety and the safety of motorcyclists in particular.

In January 2021 the regulations governing central reservation crash barrier requirements were changed and going forward any new or upgrading road schemes for or on a road which requires or has a central reservation barrier, will be required to install rigid barriers (for example W beam or concrete ‘cushions’).  The barriers will have a design life of 50 years and wire rope style barriers will no longer be used.

In addition, any existing wire rope style barriers requiring replacement due to damage or age will be replaced by a rigid barrier.

Martyn commented:

We know we won’t see wire rope barriers being ripped out wholesale and replaced immediately, but it is still great news for rider safety in the long term and I’m confident that I achieved the best realistic result possible. I’m very pleased to have achieved such a positive outcome for motorcyclists regarding this issue.”

MAG hopes that this outcome will be extended to the rest of the UK and – with this in mind – Colin Brown, its Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, will shortly be approaching the Department for Transport to discuss the topic, which is currently one of MAG’s ‘five priorities’