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 are used to maintain low speeds in an area. They are designed so that they are uncomfortable to drive over at high speed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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 15 June 2021