The UK is now home to more than 42,000 individual speed bumps – an increase of 5% in the last three years, according to an exclusive Citroen investigation into traffic calming coverage.
The study shows speed bumps now provide safety benefits to more than 14,000 roads, stretching across an estimated 2,000 miles of Britain’s streets (figures obtained from local authorities).
The research also found there were a further 12,000 traffic calming measures such as speed tables, ramps and width restrictions.
Citroen says it conducted the research as part of its commitment to “providing class-leading comfort for its customers”.
Earlier this year, the manufacturer tackled the pothole crisis afflicting Britain’s roads by paying for 200 holes to be filled across Surrey, one of the worst affected counties. In doing so, Citroën was able to provide road users in Surrey a glimpse in to what life with a new C5 Aircross SUV or C4 Cactus with Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension would be like.
The figures were obtained through a Freedom of Information request to more than 400 councils across the UK. Not all councils keep a central figure for the total number of traffic installations on the roads they are responsible for.
Speed bumps were first introduced in the UK in 1983 under The Highways (Road Humps) Regulations but their origins date back to the early 1900s in New Jersey, USA,where they were installed to prevent speeding.
Road safety experts say traffic calming measures like speed bumps are one of the key reasons why deaths on UK roads – especially for pedestrians, cyclists and children – have fallen by 80% since fatalities peaked in 1941.
Currently, London Borough councils have the highest percentage of speed bumps per miles of road responsible for, accounting for eight of the top 10.
Newham Council reported speed bumps across every stretch of the 125 miles it was responsible for maintaining followed by Southwark (71%) and Hackney (69%).
Outside of London, Norwich City Council topped the league table with traffic calming measures installed on 17% of its roads ahead of Portsmouth City Council (13%) and Bury Metropolitan Borough Council (12%).
Under The Highways (Road Humps) Regulations 1999, councils have devolved power from central Government to install humps and associated calming measures on roads with speeds of up to 30mph in the interests of road safety.