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Steer clear of unnecessary road humps, Mayor urges planners

PUBLISHED: 00:01 19 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 05 October 2010

THE Mayor of London is urging Town hall bosses to steer clear of things that go bump’ in the road. Boris Johnson has outlined a new approach’ to traffic management in a letter to local authorities today, in which he wants them to consider alternatives to road humps

Mike Brooke

THE Mayor of London is urging Town hall bosses this morning to steer clear of things that go bump’ in the road.

He is making a stand for smoother journeys for both bus passengers and motorists.

Boris Johnson has outlined a new approach’ to traffic management in a letter to local authorities today (Wednesday), in which he wants them to consider alternatives to road humps.

“People say they don’t want road humps and don’t like them,” Boris writes. “But politicians refuse to listen.

“So we are making a stand. Road humps are simply a lazy way of delivering slower speeds.”

Little is done to encourage people to walk, cycle and spend time using their streets, he feels.

“I want to encourage local authorities to be bold and think more creatively about ways of achieving slower traffic, to create better streets where drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists share the space responsibly.”

But the mayor denies putting pressure on town halls.

“I’m not dictating to them,” he insists. “Until someone takes a stand and says road humps are inappropriate in many cases, we will we will never achieve better streets.”

There has been a proliferation of road humps in recent years, the mayor points out, which have spread to some important main routes.

Elderly and disabled people complain of discomfort going over road humps, which also hamper emergency vehicles, especially ambulances. Cyclists feel they hinder journeys and can act as a deterrent.

There are alternative measures such as shared space’ and simplified streetscapes that could have a better effect on traffic, City hall believes.

It would involve removing street clutter’—including markings and barriers.

This has been tried in Kensington High Street in west London, where road accidents have now been largely reduced.

Traffic speed is influenced by design rather than restriction, with simplified road markings, traffic light timings recalculated, no formal 20mph limit, street clutter’ removed and improved pedestrian and cycle facilities.

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