Welsh Government funds motorcyclist safety projects

12.00 | 2 March 2016 | | 4 comments


Two projects which aim to reduce the number of motorcycle casualties will share up to £450,000 of Welsh Government funding.

Announced by Edwina Hart, the Welsh Government’s economy and transport minister, the funding comes as part of phase two of the Small Business Research Initiative* (SBRI).

The two projects come from an original shortlist of 47 applications and focus on helmet lining and a junction alert system.

The advanced helmet liner is being created by Armourgel Ltd, and will incorporate Armourgel material with the aim of protecting motorcyclists from rotational acceleration brain injuries.

The junction alert system is a Fusion Processing Ltd design. It will use a combination of radar and cameras to identify when a motorcyclist is approaching.

Announcing the successful projects, Mrs Hart said: “Welsh roads are amongst the safest in the world, however we continue to strive for improvements and reducing the number of motorcyclist casualties is one of our priorities.

“These projects are looking at innovative ways to protect motorcyclists and reduce accidents. Both successful products returned encouraging results at feasibility stage and I am pleased we are able to support them to develop their products further.”

*Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)
The SBRI challenges companies to identify pioneering approaches to reduce motorcyclist casualties in Wales – a priority road safety target for the Welsh Government.

In July of last year Ms Hart announced the four successful projects under the first stage of the initiative. The funding they received helped them to run feasibility studies as part of the first phase of the challenge.

The four projects were then invited to bid for funding for phase 2 of the initiative, which will help develop the products to point where they can be marketed.


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    Rod. Historically more deaths and injuries were suffered by motorcyclists some 20 or even 50 years ago. So power output and higher speeds are not the problems as bikes nowadays have 5/4 times the power and at least twice the top speed and yet we have fewer deaths and KSIs.

    Don’t forget that when traffic was much lighter and streets quieter of vehicular traffic in the 1930s, in 1934 some 1324 deaths occurred to cyclists alone, eleven a week in London. In that year in the UK there were 17,343 recorded road deaths and 231.603 persons were injured, half of which were pedestrians. Even with more power and speed things have definitely improved.

    R.Craven Blackpool
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    Maybe one of the obvious ways of decreasing motorcycle casualties is to decrease the performance of the motorcycles! Of course the same may be said of 4 wheeled vehicles but I do notice that there seems to be a great ratio of performance to utility bikes than with cars.

    Rod King, 20’s Plenty for Us
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    Congratulations to the Welsh Government on this initiative. It’s one thing to highlight that there is a problem with motorcycle casualties and another to put up a considerable amount of money to look for genuine solutions that are tried and tested before implementation.

    I hope the other governments in the UK will follow their lead and explore other avenues to decrease bike casualties. More can be done and doesn’t always need huge sums of money to achieve great things.

    Mike, Leicestershire
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    All looks good to me. Anything that will reduce the risk of brain shaking known as concussion and the more serous condition of compression of the brain due to rupture of brain tissue or blood vessels is to be encouraged.

    Also there is no doubt that junctions can be a problem and the greatest problem is where there is a greater amount of vehicles in any one localised area. It therefore occurs primarily in busy urban situations.

    The instances of it happening on A and B arterial or country roads is very much smaller but nevertheless it does happen occasionally and I can see a possible electronic approach with electronically activated warning signage could work well in that environment.

    I wait to see how well they will do and whether, if successful, they may be adopted elsewhere.

    In the meantime perhaps some of the other issues such as bends, overtakes, inappropriate speeds and proximity closeness will be addressed.

    R.Craven, Blackpool
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