Could We Be Seeing The End To Speed Bumps?

Friday, 10. February 2017

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

Let me ask you a question, what irritates you most? Pot holes, speed bumps or 20mph speed limits? For me there is little to choose but each of them has an affect on the way we drive with two meant to make roads safer and the other one simply slowing us down as we don’t particularly want to destroy our tyres and suspension.

 

Whilst you try to work out the one that destroys tyres I can tell you that speed bumps could be a thing of the past (hurrah and hurrah), to possibly be replaced by the wide use of 20 mph speed limits (damn, damn, damn). A report out at the end of last year by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – yes I thought they only approved drugs also – suggests that local authorities do away with speed bumps as they lead to erratic driving which increases pollution.

 

As a replacement they have suggested variable speed limits and ‘no idling zones’. Statistically 64% of air pollution in urban areas is caused by road traffic costing the UK £18.6 billion each year. I wish they would explain that figure, I guess as it’s NICE they mean in consequential health issues but how do they prove that it’s not down to the sufferer’s lifestyle or place of work?

 

Anyway, moving on, they want to stop idling in certain areas but this has also caused me concern. You know the old strip lights that are still used in open areas, offices, kitchens etc.? Well I remember reading somewhere that if you turned one of these lights off then switched it back on a little later the starter used up more electricity than if you had left the light on for over 2 hours (can’t remember the exact time), so my point here is could the same principal apply to stop start engines that are meant to reduce pollutants into the atmosphere?

 

Could constantly starting the engine kick out more CO2’s and other noxious gasses into the atmosphere than simply leaving the engine ticking over? Just a thought – but a very good one Graham I hear you say. I digress. They suggest that 20mph limits be introduced in areas of regular congestion and drop motorway speed limits to 50mph in order to create steady traffic flow.

 

They recommend the wider introduction of congestion charging and laws to prevent parents from leaving cars idling whilst delivering children to school. I’d have thought a gentle tip off in the local hooligans’ shell likes should solve that one! Other rather entertaining proposals suggest new houses with living rooms at the back of the house, furthest away from roads (umm what about bedrooms?), car free days for some areas and siting cycle lanes away from main roads.

 

I’m all for saving the planet but do these people really think these things through? To avoid congestion in the centre of town during the rush hour won’t be solved by introducing a 20mph speed limit when you are lucky to achieve 3 mph on a good day. Still removing road humps will be a good start as far as I, and most Ferrari divers, are concerned. By Graham Hill

Government To Remove Central Lane Markings

Friday, 26. February 2016

I recently reported that the Government is planning to scrap large numbers of sets of traffic lights as they seem to slow down traffic flow rather than improve it. Taking things one step further Transport for London (TfL) have been experimenting with removing central lane markings on busy streets around Croydon and Haringey.

Studies carried out during the experiment has shown that average speed has reduced by 13%. They have concluded that fewer road markings improve safety by making drivers more cautious and aware of their surroundings. The report stated that it has been found that a drop in average speed of just 1 mile per hour is associated with a 5% reduction in accident frequency.

TfL is not the only authority to remove centre lines. Apparently similar schemes have been introduced in Norfolk, Wiltshire and Derbyshire. In fact in Norfolk, Tracy Jessop, assistant director for Highways and Transport at Norfolk Count Council, said ‘We’ve been removing centre white lines for at least 15 years in locations that have the right characteristics and where there is community support.’

Personally, like Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA, I think this is a dangerous move. When you drive along a road and you see bits of tree strewn all over the place you sense danger and slow down accordingly, the same would apply if suddenly you had no guidance as to where the centre of the road is, people don’t slow down because the road is safer, they slow down because they sense danger – in this case not without reason. By Graham Hill