Spring breaks

Whilst driving my BMW 318 along Boundary Lane in Congleton, there was, as I drove over one of the 11 sets of totally unnecessary speed humps in 1,200 yards, a loud bang from the rear of the car. Though I could see nothing wrong with the vehicle, I nevertheless had it checked by a garage. They immediately found a broken rear spring on the nearside of the car as being the cause of the bang I had heard. Given that Congleton Council have taken it upon themselves to install such a ludicrously large number of vicious speed humps in what is a relatively short road, my car has been subjected to very many violent shocks every time I leave the house, no matter in which direction I choose to drive. I also gather that there are to be even more installed judging by the markings on the pavement near the school. Why should I be penalised for living half way down Boundary Lane when those near the ends of the road have no need to travel over them? Residents are somewhat bemused by all these speed humps, given that there was little evidence that cars ever sped unduly along the road prior to the installation of the humps. Indeed it is the slow speed and stationary traffic that is the real danger, i.e., the number of cars taking children to the school and then double parking, parking in side roads such as mine, parking across people's drives, car doors being thrust open on the offside of cars into oncoming traffic, cars being parked illegally (closer than the 32ft (10m)) allowed by law adjacent to a junction (section 243 Highway Code) or close to the school gates to drop or collect children in the mornings and again in the afternoons (again, section 243 Highway Code). That, and the fact that cars regularly have to drive on the opposite pavement to get around parked cars. The sheer lunacy of the speed cushions and the incompetence of whoever sanctioned their installation is further highlighted by the fact that the speed of buses and trucks is not impeded as they can straddle them. It is not unusual to see buses being held up by the cars in front of them. Anyone in Congleton Council with an iota of common sense would have thought of reducing the overall speed limit to 20 mph and putting signs to this effect.

Asked on 9 May 2009 by

Answered by Honest John
I receive between two and four reports of broken springs every day. Part of the reason is the way springs fitted to European cars are
manufactured and installed, as this can lead to corrosion and stress fractures at the ends. The other part is the proliferation of spring-breaking obstructions on our roads. This is much more serious than local and national politicians acknowledge, because if suspension damage (or tyre damage) inflicted by a speed hump later leads to a high speed death crash, then those politicians are responsible. And if there has been any graft over the installation of the humps, then the politicians have been making money out of endangering people's lives in the pretence that they were making roads safer. Four figure fines and prison sentences should be imposed on any found guilty.
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