Tuesday 26 June 2007

Traffic calming from "the horse’s mouth"

I disagree with H&F Conservative Council’s aim to remove traffic calming as readers of this blog will know. My reasons are simple. It’s because there is currently no alternative that cuts accident rates.

Speed cameras are still only just being piloted for residential areas and all evidence overwhelmingly proves that traffic calming works.

However, many readers have written to me to ask why the Conservatives are even considering doing this. It’s best to let them speak for themselves. However, when you read the letter below it is worth noting that Hammersmith and Fulham has speed cushions that are ambulance friendly and does not use speed humps.

The letter is written by Cllr. Harry Phibbs (Con) who is the person pictured below. It was first published in the Hammersmith Gazette. Cllr. Phibbs is a councillor for Ravenscourt Park ward and is H&F Conservatives’ Press Spokesperson. I hope it sheds some light on their views:

“Dear Sir


Road humps are a daily source of irritation to motorists, but they also have far more serious consequences; they are a serious menace to the emergency services.

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) estimates they cause more than 500 deaths a year in London.

Dean John, of the London Fire Brigade, says: “They affect our attendance times. Each ramp delays our attendance by 10 seconds. In fires, minutes can cost lives.”

Humps are detrimental to the disabled, elderly frail people, and those with serious back or neck problems.

Disabled people may have to travel in a wheelchair strapped into a vehicle. Jolts from speed humps may cause such persons severe pain and even permanent injury.

The Transport Research Laboratory in the United Kingdom conducted emissions tests on roads with a 75-metre hump spacing and found CO2 emissions increased by 70-80 per cent, hydro-carbons by 70-100 per cent and CO2 by 50-60 per cent. They also increase noise, prompting the Noise Abatement Society to take up the issue.

The argument that humps reduce road accidents is discredited. They serve as a distraction and an irritant to motorists. Barnet Council removed its speed humps and accidents there reduced by 14.9 per cent.

Conservative, Ravenscourt Park Ward”

I believe these views are unpopular and the resulting public outcry will be enough for us to to stop the Conservative Administration from implementing this rater silly policy.

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