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New bike safety barriers for 2010

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From next year, a Europe-wide standard for bike-friendly roadside safety barriers could be brought in, says the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA).

Crash barriers currently include impact tests for cars but not motorcycles.

After negotiating a deal with technical experts from the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), FEMA hopes a new standard - tested on bikes - will be installed by next June.

The new safety standard would require barriers to protect motorcyclists, most crucially with an additional lower guardrail to prevent riders colliding with upright support posts.

FEMA spokesman Hugo Roebroeck said the first step towards the new safety barriers was agreed at a meeting in Brussels last month but the new standard will go through a final approval stage in June, before it could be implemented.

Roebroeck said: "We've been campaigning for 20 years for this and we're very close to an outcome."

© Press Association 2009