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Saturday, 3 September 2016

Speed Bumps - gone in Orchard Lane Ainsdale

Unpopular and dangerous speed bumps were removed this week in Ainsdale's Orchard Lane. Damage to the bumps, from car exhausts etc grinding, was previous marked as on ongoing problem.

Unsightly and dangerous speed bumps, seen here before the Orchard Lane work started.

The ugly speed bumps are intrusive, creating noise and vibration in many areas and can badly damage cars as many protrude too high. The 20 mph culture setting ‘20's Plenty for Us ’ campaign is now in place and this should suffice . They are largely ignored too by many drivers, therefore they are now redundant.

Speed bumps may also dangerously impede the easy passage of emergency vehicles, such as fire engines, ambulances and police cars. The Chairman of the London Ambulance Service, Sigurd Reinton, previously advised that speed bumps are killing hundreds of Londoners by delaying 999 crews. He said: “For every life saved through traffic calming, more are lost because of ambulance delays.” There are about 8,000 heart attack victims in London every year, and London has a particularly poor survival rate.

One reason is undoubtedly because even a small delay increases the death rate immensely. For instance, 90% of victims survive if treated within 2 minutes but the figure falls to 10% if treatment is delayed for 6 minutes. So for every additional minute of delay caused, up to an extra 800 victims of cardiac arrest could die. This compares with a total of 300 people who die from traffic accidents.

The Woodvale area holds many elderly residents as well as a dedicated dementia - care centre (the Brookdale) and a Heath and Wellbeing centre. Therefore, speed bumps that may impede ambulance arrival times  etc are potentially life - threatening.

Speed bumps cause on-going minor road tremors that may damage the sub-structure of the road. They can also cause increased noise from heavy vehicles, and in extreme cases, subsidence of the road and buildings alongside due to the ground pressure waves that are created. How many residential properties have been destabilised since speed bumps were introduced? 

They also increase pollution in countless areas due to vehicles slowing down and then speeding up. This is turn creates greater fuel consumption. In January 2008, research commissioned by the AA showed that speed humps cause fuel consumption to increase significantly. Researchers at the Millbrook Proving Ground found that a car capable of over 58 mpg when driven at a steady 30 mph, delivered only 31 mpg when it had to slow down to negotiate speed humps and then speed up again.


Ainsdale's Cllr Haydn Preece has previously spoken out against the unpopular bumps.

Cllr Preece stated:  “I would like all speed bumps abolished. Drivers ride over them at their peril .They are intrusive to residents creating noise and vibration in many areas and can badly damage cars as many protrude too high. The 20 mph culture setting ‘20’s Plenty for Us ’ campaign is now our policy and this should suffice as we ALL adjust to the 20 mph traffic measures in areas that have been designated. Let’s have a positive attitude and abolish speed bumps that are all over our town, I’m definitely against all of the ones placed in Ainsdale.”

Will we see more areas targeted by the council for long - due removal of these obsolete speed devices? Alternatively, will we see this council waste huge amounts of cash, via seeking to reinstall the bumps once again? 

Have YOU fallen for authoritarian traffic-control spin, or have you alternatively signed the‘Dump the Bumps’ petition yet?  

Dangers to cyclists from speed bumps have been highlighted before. Here is the latest example...

Pat Regan © 

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