HC Deb 09 February 2004 vol 417 cc1240-1W
John Mann

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he next plans to issue a traffic guidance note on road humps. [152247]

Mr. Jamieson

The Department for Transport plans to publish, for consultation, a local transport note giving guidance on traffic calming (including road humps) in autumn 2004.

Mr. Edwards

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the damage to vehicles from speed humps; and what compensation is available to the owners of vehicles damaged by speed humps. [153145]

Mr. Jamieson

In the mid 1990s, investigations were carried out into the grounding of vehicles on road humps. These revealed that installing road humps 75 mm in height (compared to 100 mm) substantially reduced the risk of vehicles grounding with little or no erosion in the speed reductions achieved. Following anecdotal claims of damage, the Department commissioned, in 2001, TRL to look at the impact of repeated crossing of road humps on vehicles and their occupants. The results of this work will be published later this year.

Section 90E of the Highways Act 1980 expressly provides that, where road humps or traffic calming measures have been constructed in accordance with the statutory requirements, they are to be treated as part of the highway and not as an obstruction. The road humps should either comply with minimum standards set out in the Highway (Road Humps) Regulations 1999 or otherwise be authorised by the Secretary of State (there is an additional special procedure for authorising road humps in London). If a road hump is not so constructed, it may constitute an obstruction or nuisance in which case an individual may be able to obtain compensation for damages that are attributable to the presence of the hump in the road. A court would determine such liability, if it exists, in accordance with common law principles.