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EuroRap…..Not a Musical Genre!!

February 11, 2010


Motorway crash barriers present a danger to motorcyclists.

Yeovil, England – Disappointingly EuroRap is not a new award for solo-rapping artistes performing in the hip hop genre.

It is in fact the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRap) a system for rating roads on how well the design protects users from death or disabling injury when a crash occurs. Using a star rating system, 1 to 4 with 4 being the best, the Road Safety Foundation (RSF), the UK personification of EuroRap, has inspected better than 90% of the 4,350 miles (7,000km) of motorways and major A-roads in England.

The RSF assessment of roads considers three key elements: the protection provided if vehicles run off the road; the risk of head-on collisions; and the safety of junctions. Of the English roads network 50% of motorways reach 4-star level, 78% of dual carriageways rate 3-stars but some two-thirds of single carriageway trunk roads achieve only a 2-star rating.

It is in the area of vehicles running off the road which gives RSF most cause for concern, 90% of dual carriageways and 91%t of single carriageway roads fail to reach the highest standards for run-off protection. Worrying for bikers as the RSF solution to vehicle run offs and collisions with signs and trees is to call for the installation of more crash barriers.

Indeed Mary Williams, Chief Executive of road safety organisation Brake, has reacted to the EuroRap report by claiming that many crash barriers on the UK’s roads are too short to offer the protection they ought to. Ms Williams believes there is an “urgent need” for crash barriers on motorways to be lengthened.

So while a number of European Governments are working to reduce crash barrier lengths, introduce motorcycle friendly barrier systems or improve roads design to eliminate the need for barriers at least two UK road safety groups consider that more barriers should be installed.

Bizarrely confusing!

Meantime over at the coal face of motorcycle sales.

The UK motorcycle and scooter sales picture for January was grim, overall sales down 42% on January 2009. However in Italian motorcycle registrations rose 25% in the last two months of 2009, with scooters alone climbing 36%. Industry analysts are putting this down to the Italian government funded scrappage scheme stimulating growth and putting sales figures on a par with 2008. Let’s hope that last weeks visit by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) to the office of Ian Lucas MP, Minister for Business and Regulatory Reform spooks the UK Government into funding a scrappage scheme for bike and scooters here.

It’s not all bad news. New research from Mintel predicts that sales of new motorcycles and scooters will rise strongly over the next five years. With the market benefiting from an increasing number of older returner bikers seeking to rediscover their youth, plus a significant number of younger people looking to own a motorcycle or scooter for the first time, the value of the new motorcycle market is forecast to grow by 60% in the next five years . Following the 21% collapse in new bike sales in 2009, sales of new machines are predicted to reach a breath-taking £895 million by 2014. Meanwhile, volume sales will increase by an impressive 41% with machine units set to rise to 157,300 in 2014 – up from 111,500 in 2009.

Over at the Cycle Tour Club one of the forum moderators is getting some stick over comments about motorcyclists. As is being reported in a number of UK bike mags Simon L6, obviously he has Motorola L6 cell and the Simon Says game app; bless, thinks that among other things bikers lack congeniality. Look mate there’s a lady in the next office to mine who’s got a very powerful motorcycle and a real ‘thing’ about fit blokes on cycles wearing tight lycra body suits. She’s quite willing to engage in meaningful discussion on this issue. Humm actually the weathers looking ok think I might cycle in tomorrow!!

© Back Roads Rider 2010

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