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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Speed humps costing lives and increasing pollution says health watchdog

In a report that examined how to make our air cleaner, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), said that measures which help motorists stay at a constant speed, rather than accelerating and decelerating, were preferable to humps.

This latest news follows a study earlier this year by Imperial College, which found that forcing drivers to slow down and speed up again produces significant of harmful emissions. 

Irresponsible councils across the UK have for years laid down speed bumps and humps like confetti.

Southport is no exception. One example of Sefton Council’s legendary absurdity may be found via observing the way in which they waste funds by replacing damaged speed bumps with new ones. 

This happened in Ainsdale’s Orchard Lane back in September. 

Councillors and campaigners challenging the absurdity of speed bumps were completely ignored and  Sefton's out of touch council proved itself again to be a law unto itself. 

When informed about this latest money-wasting council stupidity Ainsdale’s Cllr Haydn Preece stated at the time that he was, "Disappointed" and that we, "Need a review on speed bumps."

Campaigners requested (last September) for councillors to ask Sefton’s reckless council this question:

 "How much is this council folly over speed bumps costing taxpayers in these times or austerity and cuts?" 

Sefton is obsessed with cutting jobs for ordinary workers and wasting vital cash on crazy schemes like the speed bumps. 

At the same time it is happily squandering 'mega- bucks' on wildly over-paid top brass. Why not save us all much more via cutting back high-paid and largely insignificant executives like Margaret Carney?

Ms Carney was once reported to make more money than the UK’s Prime Minister. 

In January 2009 with an annualised salary of £150,894, Carney beat the Prime Minister's £142,500 salary. Including expenses and pension contributions she was said to have received a total of £176, 465 from the local authority in 2009/10. 

Are the public OK with this at a time when ordinary workers are getting the boot everywhere, to save this council money?

Furthermore, a few years back Sefton Council were talking about cost-cutting options to address its £20m budget black hole. Ms Carney said at that time:

 “We have gone through every area of the council’s budget looking for ways to save money which have minimal impact."

Recent Sefton fund-wasting, over redundant speed bumps, would seem to invalidate her inattentive claims. 

For years, anti-bump campaigners have been emphasising the dangers of increased pollution and futility of the dreaded bumps. Many reasons exist why these costly and defunct objects need removing from our roads. 

Progressively and even at low speeds, damage may happen to the inner shoulders of car tyres where the impairment cannot be seen until it’s too late. This may sometimes lead to sudden blowouts and potential tragedies later in the vehicle's excursions. 

They can, again even at low speeds, cause damage to vehicle suspension units and steering systems. They may eventually break car road springs. This may sometimes lead to high speed crashes later in the vehicle's excursions. 

They undermine motorcycles and bicycles, occasionally throwing the rider into the path of another vehicle, which creates crashes. 

They are principally deadly to motorcyclists and cyclists when covered with leaves and in adverse weather conditions such as snow, ice and heavy rain. 

They increase noise levels from vehicles slowing down then speeding up. 

They have caused elderly and infirm pedestrians to trip and have accidents requiring medical aid. 

They inhibit or restrict the use of snowploughs to clear snow. They are obscured by snow and leaves etc making them a serious hazard. 

They attract children on bikes and skateboards who play at doing dangerous stunts on them. 

They attract careless drivers to actually go faster, as some type of macho challenge to their ego. 

They 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 damage vehicle sumps, wrecking engines and causing dangerous oil spillages. 

They can inhibit the passage of long wheel base vehicles and may damage fragile consumer goods as well. 

They 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. 

Speed bumps - a menace to cyclists... 

Petition against the bumps... 

Pat Regan © 

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