New analysis carried out and conducted by Churchill Car Insurance found that an estimated £75.6million as spent across the United Kingdom on the implementation and maintenance of traffic calming measures in 2014. The analysis was based on data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act and the definition of traffic calming was ‘The use of self-enforcing speed reduction measures, so for example: road humps, mini roundabouts, build-outs, chicanes, priority junctions, central islands and reduced speed limits.’
This figure for 2014 makes a significant increase in spending on previous years, with a rise of 53% on the previous year, with an estimated £26.1 million extra spent on these measures across the UK. Figures from local authorities showed that the average spend increase from £213,895 to £327,058 between the two years.
Increase in 20mph Zones
The analysis also found that there are around 5900 20mph limit zones in the UK which is viewed positively by many as the risks at 20mph are far lower than those at 30 or above. Evidence from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) shows that there is just a 1.5% chance of being fatally injured at 20mph whilst this increases to 8% at 30mph and when you consider government figures which suggest 3,064 people were killed or seriously injured in 2013 in accidents where speed was a factor it is a positive move that there are more 20mph zones around the country.
In terms of public reaction to traffic calming measures, research has found that around 42% of the public consider them effective in slowing speeds, 47% believe these measures cause damage to vehicles and 23% claimed they had actually experienced said damage.
The benefits of traffic calming measure seem, on the whole, to outweigh the negatives and the government and local authorities clearly think so as they have made the decision to invest in more measures rather than looking for other measures for road safety.
Whilst these figures are for 2014 there is hope that the trend in increased spending has continued into 2015 and will continue again into this year. More spending suggests the government and Department for Transport understand the need to focus on methods which can help to bring speeds down as speeding is a huge danger on the roads and as mentioned above, a contributory factor in a huge number of accidents and injuries each year.