A guide to the UK’s speed bumps
UK drivers may find speed bumps more of a nuisance than a necessity, but now experts have revealed the different types and how to spot them
An extremely successful traffic calming measure, speed bumps are now present in every corner of the UK in order to provide safety to all road users.
From bumps that are 100mm high to the ‘snake-like’ shaped Chicane speed inhibitors, UK roads are jam-packed with speed-busting humps – and for good reason.
“Drivers swerving to avoid them could be responsible for serious accidents, and increase the risk of damaging their vehicles in the process.”
Speed bumps: Made of plastic or rubber, they are clearly marked with paint so are easily identifiable for the driver. In accordance with UK law the bumps can be as high as 100mm, meaning the vehicle has to slow down to around 5mph to cross to avoid any damage to the car. Due to substantial slowdown in speed they are most often used in car parks and private roads.
Speed tables: Extended road humps that are usually flat topped, the entire wheelbase of the vehicle is raised which reduces traffic speed, but they’re easier for heavier vehicles to get over due to lower heights. Often used at junctions to form a pedestrian crossing.
Speed humps: Slightly trickier to spot than speed bumps, these are large bumps that span the entire width of the road. Often blending into the road due to being covered in either asphalt or tarmac. The height limit of 100mm still stands for speed humps however is rare to see them at the maximum height.
Speed cushions: These are fundamentally speed humps that have been broken up into smaller parts and scattered along the width of the road. They are identified by being placed in either pairs or threes and are short and rectangular. Due to the gaps between each part, emergency vehicles due to the broader axis can cross over without having to reduce speed.
Chicanes: Artificially erected bends that make the road into a snake-like shape. The Chicane consists of a raised curb and a bollard on one half of the road. This requires one direction traffic to give way to oncoming traffic. Drivers have to slow down to manoeuvre around the bends. Found normally on roads with alternating priority down a road, to give each direction of vehicle traffic precedence in equal amounts.