£450K Welsh safety grant

23rd February 2016


Armourgel | Fusion Processing Ltd | Road safety


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Welsh biker flag

The Welsh government has announced a £450,000 road safety grant to be shared by two firms, Armourgel Ltd and Fusion Processing Ltd. Both companies are working on high-tech projects that could have significant ramifications for motorcyclists.


Armourgel has offices in London, Taiwan and China. The firm has developed a "revolutionary" new padding material that's claimed to be capable of absorbing shocks and impacts far higher than most, or all other such materials on the market. The padding can be fabricated to fit everything from crash helmets, general protective equipment, and more extreme body armour. We checked the firm's website, and we weren't too impressed. Functionality on the site was very poor due to program scripting issues. Moreover, there was almost nothing about the people behind the firm.


Armourgel safety padding


Normally, we might not care too much about that. But when a devolved British government department is handing over £225,000 to a firm with little or no public face, you can understand why people are apt be a little interested.

Meanwhile, Fusion Processing Ltd is developing a system designed to detect when motorcycles are approaching a road junction. The system works via sophisticated radar equipment and cameras. Presumably, the "receivers" of this equipment are designed to be retro-fitted, or fitted as new equipment, into other road vehicles.


Fusion Processing Ltd Cycle Eye system


We also checked this firm's website. The company is based Bristol and previously developed a system called CycleEye® which is designed to be retro-fitted to trucks and buses and is claimed to be the world's leading cyclist detection device. The firm's core remit is described as Advanced Situational Awareness Systems.

Welsh transport minister, Edwina Hart, said: “Welsh roads are among the safest in the world. However we continue to strive for improvements, and reducing the number of motorcyclist casualties is one of our priorities".

Certainly, Wales is a popular destination for many British (and overseas) touring bikers. But in view of the fact that the Welsh government has very tight purse strings and is faced with pressing social problems ranging from crime & policing to health services to social housing, it's hard to see why the Welsh ministers would be particularly interested in reducing the risk of injury or death of a relatively (and we did say relatively) small number of bikers.

But we ain't complaining, and as far as we're aware, biker touring dollars are as good as any others. So maybe it's as simple as that. Protecting tourism. Or is there some wider and more obvious rationale underpinning this governmental largesse?


If we get the answer to that, we'll find a place for it on Sump.





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