BARB – Wire Rope Barriers

In July last year we reported that it appeared that Northern Ireland was getting wired up with the fitting of Wirerope/Cable barriers (Vehicle Restraint Systems).

We first noticed these barriers in Belfast, situated at the junction of Tesco’s at Newtownbreda, however stretches of wirerope barriers have been and are now being fitted on the A1 Dual Carriageway between Belfast and Newry.

We also reported that A1 Beech Hill to Cloghogue dual carriageway (Newry By-pass), a 12km stretch at a cost of just over £150million which was part funded by the European Union, TEN-T (Trans-European Network Transport) Programme, seemed to have ignored the exposure to risk of motorcyclists by installing a wire rope barrier system.

On Wednesday 23rd February the Roads Minister Conor Murphy, officially opened the £45million A2 Maydown to City of Derry Airport dualling scheme.

At the launch the Minister said: “The completion of this £45million project is an important step forward for the people of the northwest. The new dual carriageway will help ease congestion, resulting in improved safety and journey times for traffic travelling on this route.”

However what is clear at Right To Right is that when the Minister says that the “project” will result in improved safety for traffic travelling on this route, he has again forgotten about one mode of transport and that is the motorcycle and their riders.

At Right To Ride our position on wire rope barriers is clear and what is considered by riders’ organisations around the world, which is that these road restraint systems are seen as the most dangerous type of crash barriers because of the exposure to the lethal upright posts.

A2 Bikers against Rope Barriers – (BARB)

Local members of the motorcycle fraternity have now been spurred into public action and they have formed into an organized group called, A2 Bikers against Rope Barriers – (BARB)

The group has unanimously agreed that a wrong and lethal decision has now been made by Roads Service, supposedly on our behalf, resulting in a 100% rejection by bikers, of this type of Vehicle Restraint System chosen for this stretch of road.

BARB continues by saying, “Either by a mistake or design, this decision has resulted in exposing a fundamental safety flaw.”

“It is our view as lay people that instead of decreasing a greater daily risk to us motorcyclists, it has multiplied the daily risk who have to use this stretch of road in the future. “

“This is compared to other types of safety barrier choices that were available to the engineers at the time.

Right To Ride along with the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) in Northern Ireland, are 100% behind BARB  and are supporting BARB’s  mission, “to stop DRD Roads Division from updating/upgrading our roads infrastructure with any more anti motorcycling safety rope barriers until an alternative suitable barrier has been agreed by all parties for this road and past and future development.”

For further information BARB can be contacted on

And also via the Facebook page A2 Bikers against rope barriers (BARB)

Read the BARB full press release and information – pdf 126kb – Click Here

Details of the scheme at Roads Service – Click Here

Read the Right To Ride full issue on barriers – Click Here

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  1. Riders have sent us some details of where wire rope barriers are or are being installed.
    They are also now digging up the old earth barrier along the Ballymena M2 bypass and replacing it with the wire barrier.
    Wire barriers also near the new Toome bridge.

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