Vauxhall International North West 200 teams up with Tuftac and NI Water to increase safety

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A revolutionary new manhole cover is to be piloted over the coming weeks on the famous North West 200 course as an answer to the currently used covers which can be uneven and slippery.

In collaboration with the Vauxhall International North West 200 team and Tuftac Highway and Drainage, Northern Ireland Water will switch two traditional manhole covers in carefully selected areas of the course for new Tuftac non-skid adaptable manhole covers.

Ian Russell, Tuftac Director, said: “Tuftac is “delighted to introduce these chameleon-type manhole covers, which are set to greatly enhance road safety on the coast road for the benefit of the community, tourists and North West 200 race riders.”

Michael Rutter, professional motorcycle racer, is a familiar face on the North West 200 course. He welcomed the piloting of the new manholes as great news. “This project was borne out of concern for the safety of both race riders and the general public. For a rider, hitting a manhole is like hitting ice, especially when the road is wet. These Tuftac covers provide the ultimate solution for an even surface on which riders and drivers will feel a lot safer.”

Mervyn Whyte MBE, Event Director, Vauxhall International North West 200 agreed: “Prior to the race each year, we have to replace a large number of manhole covers which have been damaged by heavy traffic around the course. We are anxious to consistently improve our racers’ safety and these new Tuftac manhole covers provide a welcome solution for optimal grip and road comfort.”

Until now non-slip sprays have been used on traditional manhole. The new Tuftac manhole covers feature high skid resistance value and exactly match the level of grip as well as the aesthetics of the surrounding surface, making them gel perfectly with the road for an invisible, continuous, even surface.

Alastair Reilly from NI Water has been involved in the project from day one.

He said: “It’s an ideal solution to enhance health and safety in the community, improve racing condition during the Vauxhall International North West 200 and therefore promote tourism in Northern Ireland. NI Water takes the safety of the community very seriously and we are delighted to help in any way we can in the piloting of these innovative manhole covers. We look forward to carefully monitoring them once they have been placed on the road and hope to progress the project further as soon as possible.”

The Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200 Race Week Festival takes place from Sunday 12th – Saturday 18th May 2013.

For Race Festival details log onto www.vauxhallnorthwest200.co.uk