Traffic calming

Traffic calming schemes are highlighted either by enquiries from ward councillors or local residents, and by investigation of the accident records and analysis of the volume, type and speed of the traffic using a particular area.

Where a combination of the criteria listed above are found to be at unacceptable levels then it could be considered appropriate for traffic calming to be introduced.

Research has shown when a pedestrian is involved in a collision with a car travelling at 20 miles per hour that only 5% are killed and that most injuries are slight with 30% suffering no injuries at all. Traffic calming is highly effective as a method of controlling vehicle speeds often to less than 20 miles per hour, reducing accident risks, cutting the level of rat-running traffic and improving the environment especially within residential areas by the use of self enforcing traffic engineering techniques.

Although many people have heard of road humps or 'sleeping policemen', there are in fact, many different types of measures that can be used in a traffic calming scheme and a few of the most well known are pictured here along with a description of each one.

Road humps

Road humps are used to maintain low speeds in an area. They are designed so that they are uncomfortable to drive over at high speed.

Road humps

20 miles per hour zones

It is important that vehicle speeds are reduced on residential roads. Therefore, many of the traffic calming measures are used to limit speeds to below 20 miles per hour and the speed limit in these areas is reduced to 20 miles per hour.

20 miles per hour zones

Pedestrian refuge islands

They are created in the centre of the carriageway and are used to provide safe places for pedestrians to wait whilst crossing the road and also narrow the lane width available to cars.

Pedestrian refuge islands

Mini roundabouts

These features require all approaching vehicles to give way to other vehicles already on the roundabout. Mini roundabouts are often designed with a raised dome in the centre so that larger vehicles can drive over it.

Mini roundabouts

Speed table or plateau

Although they function in the same way as a road hump, a speed table extends across an entire junction including all the approaches.

Speed table

Road narrowing

These consist of build-outs from either one or both sides of the kerb that reduces the road width down so that only one vehicle can pass at a time. Priority is often given to one direction whilst the other is forced to 'give way'.

Road narrowings

Speed cushions

Speed cushions occupy only part of the lane in which they are placed and can be located either in pairs or 'three abreast' depending on the road width. Emergency service vehicles and buses are not affected by this type of traffic calming as their wheel bases are wide enough to straddle them and they are often preferred by cyclists who can pass either side of the cushions.

Speed cushions

Requests for traffic calming can be made either via your local ward councillor.

You can also use the online reporting service to report incidents of excess speed or traffic volume (reports used for monitoring purposes).

This page was last updated on 18 January 2017

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