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Bromley Borough Roads Action Group

GLA Hump Inquiry Concluded        

The Greater London Assembly Inquiry into speed humps has been concluded, with a final report being produced entitled "London's Got the Hump". The main recommendations were: 

- Any removal of speed humps should only be done if equivalent measures can be introduced. 

- TfL and the Boroughs should work more closely together on budgets and consultation procedures, and there should be better data collection on current schemes. 

- The “Pan London Road Safety Forum” should be more proactive in promoting good practice. 

However the report was generally very biased. For example it contained 19 quotations or references from anti-car groups and only one from a pro-car group. They even included the data on wide area traffic calming schemes in Hull, despite the fact that your editor had given them clear evidence that the claims from Hull were spurious and the data simply wrong. Go to Hull Traffic Calming Claims for more information.

Any evidence that did not support humps was disparaged, including that from the London Ambulance Service, or simply not reported (such as the evidence submitted by BBRAG). 

In summary, a very disappointing conclusion to what could have been one of the few independent reports. Much of the report contained the usual dogma in favour of humps without looking at the contrary evidence. Apparently not all the Inquiry Committee members were happy with the contents of the report, and the Conservatives refused to sign it. Incidentally the Committee originally intended to undertake a public opinion poll on this subject but that was later abandoned which is also unfortunate - perhaps they were afraid of the results they might have obtained. 

Subsequent press comment on the GLA report suggested that the report emphasised the use of speed cameras as opposed to humps, particularly to enforce 20 mph areas, which is not strictly accurate. However the press also suggested Ken Livingstone was to put such a commitment in his mayoral manifesto. At which point Brian Coleman said "The speed camera plans will mean residents getting clobbered all the time by fines. This is a version of the congestion charge for the suburbs and is merely a revenue raiser to fill the gaping hole at the heart of the Transport for London budget. Another week and yet another example of the anti-car agenda being pursued by the mayor and his Labour Party in City Hall." The committee and mayor’s proposals also ignored the poor economics and impracticality of enforcing 20 mph zones by cameras, but economics has never been one of Mr Livingstone’s strong points.

R.W.Lawson, June 2004

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