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Speed bumps

The question

Barnet Council claims accident rates have fallen since it removed speed bumps from key locations, but Transport for London has disputed this. What do you think about speed bumps as a traffic calming measure?

Speed bumps are wonderful devices. They divert drivers' attention to achieve best wheel positioning and synchronisation of deceleration/ acceleration relative to the bump to obtain minimum progress disruption. Any prizes for guessing what happens to normal hazard awareness during this operation?

Chris Bennion, design manager, Adlington A better measure would be policing vehicle speeds using satellite tracking devices fitted to vehicles as part of road charging plans. This would remove the need for deterrents such as speed humps and cameras and hopefully encourage drivers to abide by speed restriction law. I'm sure Tesco Clubcard would find a use for all the information captured and thus may be persuaded to help with the start-up costs.

Jonathan Fearnley, 32, manager, Nottingham Most schemes achieve slower vehicles or fewer rat runners but they are seldom conceived as part of an overall plan for a town or borough. Locals disapprove as they destroy any ambience, increase noise, vibration and car maintenance costs while reducing house prices. Would you choose to live near one- Only in a utopian community would all drivers travel with due care and attention.

Andrew Powell, 42, senior group engineer, Manchester In Sandiway there are dual bumps in each of the carriageway directions which force conflicts between vehicles and cycles. People generally race to get through the obstacle course so speed is encouraged. The most effective traffic calming which works in the US is to have lower, 10-15 mph speed limits in residential areas. Plus there is a broadly accepted culture not to drive anti-socially.

Steve Whipp, 51, Wastewater Standards Manager, Sandiway Speed bumps do have disadvantages (noise, problems for emergency services, buses, cyclists), but are a relatively cheap and effective method of enforcing reduced speeds. Where traffic calming measures are to be applied, it should be carefully considered whether road bumps or other restrictions (road narrowing, street furniture), or a combination of various systems are appropriate.

Mike Paul, 52, senior engineer Stuttgart, Germany Speed bumps cause sudden braking, damage suspensions, require frequent repair, and slow down ambulances and police cars. A better way would be to make the road like a slalom track, to place frequent traffi c lights or zebra crossings or to plaster the sides of the road with useless advertising.

Mohamad Al-Dah, structural engineer, Cardiff The way things are going, it will not be long before speed bumps and cameras in urban areas are not necessary. Roads will become so clogged that traffic will not be able to reach 30mph.

David Nimmo Smith, 55, loss adjuster, Henley-on-Thames

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