Motorists in Kent have criticised a set of 'fake' speed bumps made to look real as a “waste of paint” because drivers simply ignore them.
The original bumps in Swanscombe had damaged cars over the years so Kent County Council replaced them with painted ones that are not raised.
Officials were hoping that painting them on the road would be enough to slow down speeding drivers along the busy stretch that leads to two different schools.
But residents say that drivers know the bumps are not real and do not slow down to go over them.
Arriva bus driver Katie Bell, who drives along the road more than 50 times a day, said: “It is an absolute waste of white paint.
“People speed along there as they know there aren’t bumps. I’ve heard drivers beep others because they are driving too slowly over them.
“I can’t quite believe they came up with the idea in the first place.”
Traffic has increased over the last two months following a landslide on a nearby major road, which has forced it to close for 18 months.
Bell said it would be better to have more signs erected to warn drivers that they are approaching schools.
One resident, Joanne Hales, thinks there needs to be a zebra crossing where people can cross over the one remaining hump.
She said: “The thing that concerns me is that many pedestrians assume the large hump is a crossing. They just step out without looking and expect all the cars to stop. One day it’s going to cause an almighty accident.
“If it is a crossing then it should be signed so with black and white lines and orange flashing lights like you would see on a crossing. That way both parties know what to expect.”
However, she does not oppose the fake bumps and says the original ones were “too high” and caused damage to multiple cars.
Mock speed humps were first introduced by Transport for London in 2014 to create an "optical illusion, appearing raised to drivers as they approach, giving the impression that speed humps lie ahead".
It is part of a strategy to control speeds without the use of bumps, humps and lumps.
They claim the physical interventions have a number of drawbacks, including an increase in traffic noise and pollution as drivers constantly change their speed.
When they were first painted in 2019, a spokesman for Kent County Council (KCC) said: "We anticipate more psychological traffic-calming measures being implemented at sites across the county which aim to encourage a reduction in vehicle speed through changing the driver’s perception of the road environment."
Yahoo News UK contacted Kent County Council for a comment.
‘Scant budgets’ for councils
Painting mock speed bumps is a cheaper alternative to councils who are dealing with “scant budgets” during the cost of living crisis, motoring experts have suggested.
RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said: “Clearly, painting mock speed humps is significantly cheaper for any cash-strapped council than making physical changes to the road, but the risk is that drivers intent on speeding quickly realise they’re not real and continue to break the speed limit.
“Having said that, with scant budget available to them arguably some intervention by a council like this is better than none at all.”
A recent survey from the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) found that more than half of councils in England were planning to cut more services at the same time as raising taxes.
April saw nine out of 10 councils raising council tax in an attempt to balance their budgets, with 52% proposing to cut spending.
The LGIU described it as “an unsustainable situation”, with high inflation added to the pressure of austerity cuts.
James Jamieson, the chair of the Local Government Association, said: “Many councils are still grappling with significant challenges when setting their budgets and trying to protect services from cutbacks due to the deep underlying and existing pressures they face.”
The scale of the problem was laid bare earlier this week when Woking Borough Council in Surrey declared effective bankruptcy over a £1.2 billion hole in its budget caused by “extreme” high levels of borrowing as part of its investment strategy.