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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

Proposals for More than 60 Road Humps in Bromley

The London Borough of Bromley have recently developed some proposals for additional speed bump schemes. This includes plans for Poverest Road in Orpington, Queensway in Petts Wood, Elmstead Lane in Chislehurst and Maple Road in Penge.

The proposals are likely to go out to public consultation in the near future. This note provides more details on these proposals and how you can make objections to the council

The Bromley Borough Roads Action Group (B.B.R.A.G) objects to these proposals for the following reasons: 

1. The proposals are directly contrary to policies adopted by the council in Spring 2002 which said that “predominantly non-vertical” speed reduction techniques were preferred and that injury accident prevention measures should be cost effective but not impact the free flow of traffic. These policies were adopted after the Conservatives won control of the council in the local elections, partly based on a platform of “no more speed bumps”.  

2. The cost of these proposals is a total of £223,000 and B.B.R.A.G. believes that simpler and more targeted measures would be just as effective in reducing accidents but at lower cost. 

3. B.B.R.A.G. has consistently opposed the excessive use of speed bumps on the following grounds: 

a - They are not actually very good at reducing accidents.

b - They are not the most cost effective way of reducing accidents.

c - They only tackle the speed of traffic which is not the major cause of accidents.

d - They are a poor technical solution to the problem of reducing speeds.

e - They cause pain and discomfort to many people, particularly the disabled.

f - They cause additional atmospheric pollution, additional noise, increase emergency vehicle journey times, damage vehicles, create extra road maintenance costs and have other disadvantages.

More information on the disadvantages of speed bumps can be obtained from the following page: Speed Humps. Even Bromley Council found that 74% of road users were unhappy with traveling over speed bumps in a recent survey.

In the particular cases of Poverest Road, Elmstead Lane and Queensway, these roads are some of the main routes connecting one part of the borough to another. They are also bus routes and are of course used extensively by other public service vehicles such as ambulances and fire engines. Speed bumps create major problems for such vehicles and severe discomfort to their passengers. Putting speed humps (bumps, cushions or tables) on such routes is particularly inappropriate.  

These roads have been selected for treatment because they are some of the roads in the borough with the most personal injury accidents according to the reported statistics, although of course they are also some of the busiest secondary roads (ie. other than “A” roads) in the borough. Although B.B.R.A.G. supports some road safety measures at these sites, it believes that more practical and effective alternative measures could be developed.  B.B.R.A.G. will be putting forward such alternative proposals (although we have yet to receive the details of traffic accidents in these roads which are required for this to be done). It may even be the case that the council may themselves develop alternative proposals, but we would ask you to object to their speed bump proposals and encourage the consideration of alternative proposals.  

The schemes primarily consist of speed cushions and tables. The former are not a good solution when parking can take place alongside the cushion as it forces traffic to ride over the peak of the hump or divert to the other side of the road, which is itself a risk. Also some of the cushions are in wider parts of the roads where it has been necessary to introduce the “three-across” type of cushion - unfortunately this just encourages drivers to drive down the centre of the road, again a dangerous practice. There are 60 speed cushions or tables in these plans in total, but there are other proposals also under consideration for similar schemes in other roads.  

To object to these proposals, please go to the following page: Objection Letter

For more information on the proposals for particular roads, go to one of the following pages:

Poverest Road, Orpington

Queensway, Petts Wood

Elmstead Lane, Chislehurst

Maple Road, Penge