Traffic calming measures spending up 53 per cent

Spend on traffic calming measures has increased by 53 per cent since 2013, according to research from Churchill Car Insurance.

The analysis shows that approximately £75.6 million was spent on the implementation and maintenance of traffic calming measures in the UK during 2014, including measures such as road humps, mini roundabouts, central islands, chicanes and reduced speed limits. At a local authority level, the average spend increased from £213,895 to £327,058 between 2013 and 2014.

Churchill found that there are now over 5,900 zones across the UK which have a 20mph speed limit, which it argues is a ‘good investment’ as there is a 1.5 per cent chance of being fatally injured at 20mph compared to an eight per cent chance at 30mph.

However, while consumer research showed 42 per cent of Brits believed that traffic calming measures were effective, 47 per cent think that these measures cause damage to vehicles. 23 per cent of motorists claim to have witnessed this damage first hand, with an estimated £47,196 paid out in compensation for personal injury or damages to vehicles caused by traffic calming measures in 2014.

Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill, said: “It is encouraging to see a significant increase in funding for traffic calming measures, as it plays a valuable role in managing the safety of our roads. With that said, road safety is a very complex issue and traffic calming is one of many factors that can impact on this.

“We urge motorists to drive with caution and follow the rules of the road, which includes abiding by traffic calming measures. While some may see them as a hindrance, they are an integral part of protecting both motorists and pedestrians and in keeping accident rates to a minimum.”

In response to the findings, Peter Box, Local Government Association transport spokesman, said: "Councils take road safety extremely seriously and respond to residents' concerns over this issue. Traffic calming measures are a proven way of reducing accidents and fatalities, protecting both pedestrians and motorists."