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Norway: Ban on cable barriers upheld

What affects Europe affects all of its components, including the motorcyclists’ organizations. Yet the need to organize and defend themselves has never been so important, as more and more legislations concerning road users are designed at the European level - and not always with the citizens’ best interests at heart.

In 2006 the then transport minister introduced a ban on cable barriers in Norway. The ban was introduced with regards to the safety of motorcyclists.

Forces in the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, however, wanted the ban to be repealed and therefore sent the case on a wide consultation, with a deadline in May last year. NMCU filed a comprehensive response to the hearing and argued strongly that the ban should be maintained. NMCUs main arguments was that cable barriers are more dangerous for motorcyclists than other types of barriers, that there are adequate alternatives to cable barriers and that the reintroduction of cable barriers would not provide any documented gains - neither economic, practical or traffic safety.

In a press release issued 27th September the Ministry of Transport says the request from Norwegian Public Roads Administration has been considered and that the Ministry has decided to uphold the ban. The grounds for this decision are motorcyclists’ sense of insecurity for this type of barrier, the high maintenance costs and the fact that there are equal alternatives, even for use on narrow roads.

In addition, the Ministry mentions that the political agreement that was the basis for the ban in 2006 continued when Parliament considered the National Transport 2014-2023. In this process several different party constellations in Transportation Committee had tabled comments supporting the ban on cable barriers.

NMCU is pleased with Ministry’s wise decision and suggests that this matter is now parked for good. There are several barrier solutions on the market that satisfy all road users’ safety needs, that do not cost more when all costs are included in the calculation, and which in addition is both practical and has a nice design.

NMCU’s media contact, Hans Petter Strifeld, says: Cable barriers are history, let’s instead work together and find the best and most cost effective solutions among the barrier alternatives on the market.