TfL using ‘virtual bumps’ to discourage speeding

Virtual speed hump

Image: BBC

Virtual speed bumps are being used to discourage drivers from speeding on London roads (The Mirror).

The Transport for London (TfL) initiative uses perspective to create the illusion of speed bumps, even though the surface of the road is flat.

The idea was first trialled on the A117 in Newham in November 2014, and has since been rolled out at 45 locations across the capital, The Mirror reports.

The aim is to bring traffic down to speeds of below 20mph, according to TfL.

Nigel Hardy, TfL’s head of sponsorship, road space management, said:

“We are working hard to create a road network which is free from death or serious injury.

“This Vision Zero approach to reducing road danger includes testing the effectiveness of 20mph limits on parts of Transport for London’s road network.

“As part of these trials a number of different measures – including new signs, road markings and painted speed bumps – are being introduced to reduce traffic speeds.

“We will continue to try new speed reducing ideas to save lives and prevent injury on our roads.”

Speed humps have been prominent in the news in recent weeks after the Government’s new plans to tackle air pollution controversially hinted at their removal.

In an open letter to environment secretary Michael Gove, Living Streets, Cycling UK and the Campaign for Better Transport said that the measure is, at best, ‘an expensive diversion from addressing air quality’ and at worst ‘dangerous and retrograde’.

London is not the first place to test ‘optical illusion’ speed bumps. Philadelphia introduced the novel traffic calming measure in 2008.

At the time, Charles Denny, Philadelphia’s chief traffic engineer told the Telegraph: “The goal is to change the mind-set.”

11 August 2017