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September 2018
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IRON TECHNOLOGY LEADER WELCOMES HIGHWAYS AGENCY GUIDANCE ON SKID RESISTANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR ACCESS COVERS

Iron technology leader Saint-Gobain PAM UK has warmly welcomed the publication of the latest official guidance from the Highways Agency on design considerations for ironworks on UK roads, which for the first time refers specifically to the recommended skid resistance properties of chamber tops and gully tops.

Document HA 104/09, entitled ‘Chamber tops and gully tops for road drainage and services: installation and maintenance’ is the latest Advice Note from the Highways Agency and forms part of the ‘Design Manual for Roads and Bridges’ which is the accepted industry ‘bible’ for highways specifiers.

The new document states that ‘where chamber tops are likely to be subject to

trafficking, including vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians or equestrians, covers proven to provide an adequate level of skid resistance shall be selected.’

It also recommends that products to be used at potentially high risk* sites on trunk roads and motorways should offer a minimum PSRV (Polished Skid Resistance Value) of 60.

According to Daniel D’bois, Head of Marketing – Access Covers & Gratings at Saint-Gobain PAM UK, this is very welcome news: -The issue of access covers which have become worn smooth by decades of passing traffic is one which can potentially affect all road users. These products are more slippery, especially in wet conditions, meaning increased risk of skidding, especially for road users on two wheels, and this is an area on which motorcycle users have been campaigning strongly for many years.

-The HA Advice Note means specifiers now have to ensure that products specified in high risk areas offer adequate skid resistance. This represents a landmark in safety in this area.

Saint-Gobain PAM UK has been at the forefront of innovation in access covers and in 2008 launched GripTop, a range of access covers with an aggregate top surface which comfortably exceeds the minimum PSRV requirements stated in document HA 104/09.

Following extensive trials in Bristol city centre, where the covers have been warmly welcomed by local cyclists and motorcyclists, GripTop is now being specified by a number of leading local authorities including Bristol City Council, Wigan Borough Council and Leicester City Council.

Daniel D’bois added: -Local authorities, as well as utilities, are increasingly coming round to the idea that they need to deal with the issue of access covers in high risk areas as a matter of priority, to avoid the possibility of legal action as a result of an accident involving a worn cover. GripTop represents a cost-effective, long-term solution which will maintain the required skid resistance in even the wettest conditions.

For further information about GripTop visit www.griptop.co.uk. HA 104/09 can be found in full at:

www.standardsforhighways.co.uk/dmrb/vol4/section2/ha10409.pdf

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