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Councils across Britain may tear up speed bumps as part of a Government effort to tackle air pollution.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said that the move could be enforced to that councils can “optimise traffic flow”, bringing down high levels of nitrogen dioxide.
Speaking on the day that the Government announced plans to ban diesel and petrol cars and vehicles by 2040, Mr Gove said that the removal of the bumps should be considered before charges to diesel drivers are brought in.
He added that road layout changes and altering traffic light phasing should also be implemented.
Road safety campaigners say the speed bum removal policy could put people at risk.
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) said: “Speed humps are proven to be one of the most effective and inexpensive forms of speed control measure and have prevented large numbers of deaths and injuries, particularly for children, the elderly, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
David Davies, the executive director of PACTS, added: “Some sources are suggesting that removing speed humps is the answer to improving air quality.
“There may be a small number of specific locations where this is justified. In fact, well designed and well-maintained humps and other devices can smooth traffic flows and keep speeds down, which should improve air quality.
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“There is a case for spending more on these measures, not ripping them out.”
The AA said it would be “expensive to dig up speed humps”, arguing that the money could be better spent elsewhere.
However, some motoring experts have welcomed the proposals.
Howard Cox, from pressure group FairFuel UK, said: “Our supporters will be thrilled speed bumps and pinch points will be driving aggravations of the past.
“But the faceless bureaucrats in our town halls will never be held accountable for their costly installation, being root causes of congestion and for causing increased local emissions in the first place.”
Speed bumps are steeper than cushions and go across the whole road, forcing drivers to slow down to avoid damaging their car.
Health watchdog NICE last year called for the redesign of speed bumps to “promote a smoother driving style” and help keep emissions down.
Top pic: Rex