The Council receives many requests from residents for these to
be introduced in their roads to reduce speeds and improve
There is usually opposition from the Police, Fire Brigade,
Ambulance Service and Bus Companies to the use of speed control
humps. The Emergency Services object because humps increase their
attendance times for emergency calls, and thus risk the lives and
property of the people.
The Ambulance Service and Bus Companies object because of the
discomfort and possible injury that may be caused to their
passengers and the increased wear and tear on vehicles,
particularly buses going over speed tables every day.
There are regulations governing the layout of speed control humps.
There must be a form of "slowing feature" - usually formed by a
change of priority (traffic entering the system has to turn sharp
left or right into the road, or has to "give way". Sometimes mini
roundabouts are used at the start of a system of humps.
The shape of speed control humps are strictly regulated. They must
be between 50mm and 100mm high, at least 2.75m long and extend over
the full width of the road, except for a drainage channel at either
end. They may have either flat tops or round tops.
Many local authorities have adopted the 75mm high hump as a
standard. This is because it has been found to reduce traffic to
around 22 mph. The 100 mm high humps reduce speeds to 17 mph on the
hump but speeds rise to 35 mph between the humps, causing excessive
acceleration, braking and increased pollution. Flat topped humps
can be of any length and are often known as "speed tables".
These are sometimes used to reduce the impact on long wheel base
vehicles such as buses.
Speed control humps can lead to complaints about increased noise
and sometimes increased vibration from traffic. They have however
been proved to reduce traffic speed and they have been installed in
For further information please contact
Bedford Borough Council
Tel: (01234) 718003