Gateway TSP Services

Traffic Calming

Gateway TSP has the expertise to assist with the assessment, design and implementation of traffic calming and other speed management schemes. It is generally agreed that, if drivers can be persuaded, through education and enforcement campaigns, to drive more slowly and with more consideration for other road users, then traffic calming measures would not be required. Until that day arrives, however, traffic calming provides a proven and effective way of saving lives and reducing casualties. Increasingly, highway authorities are aiming to change driver attitudes, in particular their perception of the appropriate speed for the road in question. This may be done by physical changes to the streetscape: emphasising the start of a different type of area, developing a sense of place, raising awareness of other activities taking place on or adjacent to the street and changes to the ‘feel’ of the street.

Traffic Calming

Traffic calming is a useful way of controlling drivers' speeds where speeds are either excessive and/or inappropriate for the nature of the road in question. Justification for installing traffic calming is often based on improving safety by reducing accidents. Whilst the number of accidents on residential roads is often relatively low, and usually scattered over a wide area with highly variable annual accident rates, the use of traffic calming enables an area-wide approach to be adopted to address such isolated incidents.

Traffic signs, including road markings, are important for directing and guiding traffic of all types through and around traffic calming measures. However, it is important that sign clutter is avoided, particularly in environmentally sensitive areas. As far as possible, the whole environment should be taken into account when considering the use of traffic calming measures.

Changes in speed have been shown to bring about changes in injury accidents. A good rule of thumb is that a 5 per cent reduction in injury accidents can be expected to result from a 1 mph reduction in mean speed.* The reduction varies according to road type, and is 6 per cent for urban roads with low average speeds, 4 per cent for medium-speed urban roads or lower-speed rural main roads and 3 per cent for higher-speed urban roads or rural main roads. In some traffic-calmed areas, personal injury accidents have been reduced by 60–70 per cent following speed reductions of about 9 mph. The proportion of accidents that are fatal or involve serious injury has also been reduced.**

* Taylor et al, 2000 (Transport Research Laboratory)
** Webster, 1993a; Webster & Mackie, 1996; Barker & Webster, 2003 (Transport Research Laboratory)