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Traffic calming and speed humps

How traffic calming is paid for, and when it is used.

'Traffic calming' is a term used to describe a range of measures for slowing down traffic. Measures range from road humps and bus cushions to gateways and special road signs or lining.

How traffic calming is paid for

All proposals for traffic schemes are assessed against Local Transport Plan priorities when making the decision whether to proceed.

We identify locations and routes which have the highest injury accident histories and where schemes can be designed to reduce these problems. Funding is allocated from the overall spending limits allocated to us by the Government but traffic schemes need to meet the LTP criteria to have a chance of success. Priority is given to those schemes achieving the best 'pay back' in terms of reduced road accidents and injuries.

Externally funded traffic calming

It is common practice for new commercial or residential developments to include traffic calming features to ensure low speeds and to avoid reduced standards of road safety. Town and Parish Councils can also fund traffic calming. More information is provided in Externally Funded Traffic Schemes or from the Highway Enquiries Team.

Traffic calming in Oxfordshire

Traffic calming is introduced where there are recorded injuries. This is often in conjunction with district, town or parish  councils. Smaller and rural communities with a poor safety record are also considered for suitable traffic calming measures.

Traffic calming is now widespread across the county and road hump schemes have reduced accidents by an average of 50%.

Problems with traffic calming

  • Finance - Some remaining problem sites are very difficult to cure and are unlikely to benefit solely from traffic calming. Small numbers of injury accidents are spread out over wide areas, which would require extensive measures and therefore a large amount of money. This makes it difficult to treat these areas on the money available. The 'payback' on such schemes is greatly reduced and therefore less attractive as a bid to the Department.
  • Consensus - Consultation is an important part of any new traffic measure. However, getting a consensus opinion is difficult and time-consuming. This can be frustrating for those who wish to see results quickly
  • Pollution - Studies show that pollution can be minimised if drivers maintain a constant, low speed when going over humps
  • Popularity - Traffic calming is not favoured by everyone and communities may have differing expectations or reservations about traffic calming