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London uses virtual speed bumps to reduce traffic speeds

Transport for London (TfL) first introduced the scheme in Newham and Southwark Street, South London.

London uses virtual speed bumps to reduce traffic speeds

So-called virtual speed bumps have been painted across several London roads in an effort to try and seriously reduce speeding.

They’re actually more of a 2D optical illusion, having been drawn on the tarmac in such a way that they seemingly present a physical bump to any oncoming vehicles.

It's hoped that in anticipation of the usual sharp jolt which accompanies standard speed bumps, drivers will act to slow down and reduce their speed to a more suitable level.

The scheme is the brainchild of TfL and was originally trialled back in 2014 on Newham’s A177. The results were very positive, stating that after only nine months speeds had reduced by 3mph in the surrounding areas.

It was followed up last summer by another identical project in Southwark Street, South London were it was met with similar results.

“We will continue to try new speed reducing ideas to save lives and prevent injury on our roads” said Nigel Hardy, TfL’s head of sponsorship and road space management.

Although standard physical bumps obviously also work to reduce vehicle speeds, they have actually been known to produce a significant upturn in pollution as forcing drivers to constantly speed up and slow down causes their vehicles to emit more than double the amount of harmful emissions. 

Other roads which are looked after by TfL like the A40 and North Circular road in Central London could soon see the placement of illusory speed bumps as the project expands around the capital.

Source: RAC