Councils must implement redesigned speed bumps to cut pollution

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has urged local authorities to consider lower speed limits, clean air zones and a move to redesign speed bumps in a bid to reduce air pollution.

The new guidance claimed ‘smooth’ driving would significantly cut air pollution, linked to 25,000 deaths a year in England.

The health advisory body’s advice put forward a number of recommendations, including: more 20mph speed limits in congested residential areas; re-designing speed bumps to stop cars speeding up and slowing down between them; restrictions on engine idling during short stops such as outside schools and hospitals; more charging points for electric cars in residential areas; placing the most commonly-used rooms in new houses away from polluting roads; and training drivers to be more fuel efficient by driving more smoothly

Prof Richard Skeffington, from the department of geography and environmental science at the University of Reading, argued: “The message of the report seems to me to be 'every little helps - possibly.

"The report does reject some ideas, such as street washing, but generally the actions proposed seem likely to make small incremental improvements at best."

The Local Government Association, welcomed the guidance and acknowledged air pollution was a massive problem, but highlighted councils’ capacity to implement the measures came down to a question of money.

Cllr Martin Tett said: "There is a lot we could do if we had the funding but this is a national issue for government too. The reality is we have to pay for this today."