The Council receives many requests from residents for traffic calming measures to be introduced in their roads to reduce speeds and improve safety.
There is sometimes opposition from the Police, Fire Brigade, Ambulance Service and Bus Companies to the use of speed control humps. The Emergency Services have concerns because humps increase their attendance times for emergency calls, and thus risk the lives and property of people. The Ambulance Service and Bus Companies have concerns because of the discomfort and possible injury that may be caused to their passengers and the increased wear and tear on vehicles.
There are regulations governing the layout of speed control humps. There must be a form of "slowing feature" - usually formed by a change of priority (traffic entering the system has to turn sharp left or right into the road, or has to "give way". Sometimes mini roundabouts are used at the start of a system of humps.
The shape of speed control humps are strictly regulated. They must be between 50mm and 100mm high, at least 2.75m long and extend over the full width of the road, except for a drainage channel at either end. They may have either flat tops or round tops. Many local authorities have adopted the 75mm high hump as a standard. This is because it has been found to reduce traffic to around 22 mph. The 100 mm high humps reduce speeds to 17 mph on the hump but speeds rise to 35 mph between the humps, causing excessive acceleration, braking and increased pollution. Flat topped humps can be of any length and are often known as "speed tables". They are sometimes used to reduce the impact on long wheel base vehicles such as buses.
Speed control humps can lead to complaints about increased noise and sometimes increased vibration from traffic. They have however been proved to reduce traffic speed and they have been installed in many locations.
An alternative to humps is speed control cushions which are narrower versions of the hump, placed in each traffic lane. These enable vehicles with wider wheel bases (such as busses or fire appliances) to straddle the cushion, but still requires smaller vehicles to reduce speeds. Rhondda Cynon Taf uses these features extensively on bus routes or roads which form important links for the emergency services.
Telephone: 01443 494700
Fax: 01443 425020