London's got the hump

1 April 2004

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This is the first time in London that a comprehensive scrutiny of speed humps has been conducted by the London Assembly’s Transport Committee.

Research has proved that speed humps have been successful in reducing vehicle speed, improving road safety and saving lives. However, it should be recognised that technology has improved and there are now some alternative traffic calming measures, which could be considered along with traditional speed humps as a means of reducing vehicle speed and improving safety. Speed cushions are used at the moment but the Committee heard that boroughs are trialling variable speed signs and ripple print textured surfaces. The Committee recommended that the Department for Transport (DfT) change regulations so that speed cameras can be trialled to enforce 20mph zones. They also recommended that the boroughs establish pilot schemes to test the new vehicle responsive humps. These alternative measures would help to minimise the effect on the response times of the emergency services and address any environmental concerns from local residents.

The Committee would also like to see boroughs and the emergency services working closer together at a local level in preparing local strategic routes. Emergency services should ensure that they respond to borough consultations on traffic calming and boroughs in turn should take account of these responses.

The Transport Committee makes a number of recommendations in the report to Transport for London, the Association of London Government, London Boroughs, Department for Transport, the emergency services and the Pan London Road Safety Forum. The recommendations should assist these organisations in taking forward the important traffic calming work which will continue to improve road safety and save more lives in London.