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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Traffic calming

Traffic calming devices are used to improve road safety and the local environment. They work by controlling drivers' speeds to match local conditions. This section explains who installs them and how to request traffic calming in your area.

Road features used

Measures include:

  • road humps
  • speed cushions
  • build-outs
  • chicanes
  • rumble strips
  • traffic islands

Who decides where traffic calming is needed?

The highway or road authorities decide whether a road needs traffic calming and, if so, which measures are most suitable. The specific traffic problem will dictate the location, type and size of traffic calming measures. These are usually chosen after discussion with road safety officers, local residents and the emergency services.

How can I ask for traffic calming in my area?

You need to contact your local highway or road authority. Your local council should be able to put you in touch with them. You should explain why traffic calming is needed and the authority may then conduct an independent study to assess the problem.

Who installs traffic calming features?

In England

The Highways Agency is responsible for installing traffic calming on trunk (main) roads.

Local highway authorities have the powers to build traffic calming features on local roads.

In Scotland

The Scottish Government is responsible for installing traffic calming on trunk (main) roads.

Local road authorities have the powers to build traffic calming features on local roads.

In Wales

In Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government is responsible for traffic calming on trunk (main) roads.

The local highway authority is responsible for traffic calming at a local level.

In Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Roads Service is responsible for traffic calming. For further information see their traffic calming leaflet.

How effective is traffic calming?

The Department of Transport (DFT) publishes the results of research into traffic calming in its Traffic Advisory Leaflets.

How do I complain about a traffic calming feature?

You should contact your local highway or road authority. Your local council should be able to give you their contact details.

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