Could it be the end for speed bumps on UK roads?
In a bid to reduce air pollution, speed bumps could be removed from our streets
In a bid to reduce air pollution in the UK, local authorities may be told to remove speed bumps which adorn many of our streets here in Britain.
If it’s found that these speed bumps in any way help to increase air pollution, town halls up and down the country will be told to remove speed bumps off the streets.
According to the Environment Secretary Michael Gove, councils need to act to ‘optimise traffic flow’ in an effort to reduce dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide.
Yesterday, Mr Gove said rather than imposing charges (‘toxic taxes’) on drivers of diesel cars, a change in road layouts should be considered, such as removing speed bumps and altering traffic light phasing.
The first ever speed bumps appeared on UK roads back in the 1970s and due to the driver having to slow down beforehand and then speed up, they can be a real threat to air pollution.
Road safety campaigners however, have made the point as to why we have speed bumps, which is to slow vehicles down and to save lives.
On the contrary, a considerable number of motorists believe road humps cause damage to their cars, wrecking the suspension and increasing the use of fuel, not to mention the fact they can make bad backs worse, whilst emergency services claim they can slow down response times for emergency vehicles attending a callout.
The destroying of speed bumps idea follows on from the Government’s announcement yesterday to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars after 2040, part of their controversial ‘dirty diesel’ strategy.
Yesterday, Mr Gove announced plans to reduce concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, claiming that councils could introduce greener forms of public transport, ensure enough EV charging points are available in their area to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles and inform the public about ideas such as car-sharing and car clubs.
“We want councils to do all they can to avoid charges, and hope they will consider all the options available to them,” said a Government source.
According to research carried out by Imperial College London, driving over speed bumps in a diesel car produces 98% more nitrogen dioxide than travelling over road cushions.
Speed bumps tend to be steeper and stretch across the whole of the road, making the driver slow down so as to avoid damaging their car, whilst road cushions are generally placed in groups of two or three across the road with a much shallower slope on them and therefore require less deceleration.
In 2016, the health watchdog NICE asked for speed bumps to be redesigned to ‘promote a smoother driving style’ and to help keep down the level of emissions.
“It’s expensive to dig up speed humps and the question is whether the money might be better spent elsewhere,” warned the AA regarding the removal of speed bumps and the disruption this would cause.
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