How can my in-laws have a speed hump removed from the entrance to their cul-de-sac?

My in-laws live on a private road. On returning from holiday they found that one of their neighbours had installed a speed hump. This is not the first but is significantly higher than the others - making four in all on a 250-yard-long cul-de-sac. The neighbours insist they had the backing of a majority of the other residents, however they are the ones who are at the front of the cul-de-sac and so are not inconvenienced by it. Both in-laws are in their mid-70s with my mother-in-law having arthritis in her back, for which she has a blue badge, and going over this speed hump causes her great pain and discomfort. The neighbours are unsympathetic and aggressive in their responses, so there appears to be no compromise. If my in-laws try to have it removed the police have informed them that they could be prosecuted for criminal damage.

A local solicitor is willing to issue an injunction against the neighbours, but requires written instruction from all other residents at the far end of the road. None of them want the hump, but neither do they want to be legally involved. My in-laws cannot afford to do it on their own. They feel trapped in their own home and are at their wits end. Can you suggest any establishment or authority that would help them, or is there another course of action that they could pursue?

Asked on 20 November 2010 by PC, Portishead, Bristol

Answered by Honest John
They already have legal advice. If their car was in any way damaged by this impedance to their right of way, they could sue the people who installed it. If they wanted to go to the trouble, they could take some shallow ramps with them to ease the car over the speed humps, obviously making a lot of noise, blocking the road to other traffic and creating a disturbance as they do so, preferably at 01.00 in the morning. Your mother-in-law is perfectly entitled to scream in agony at the top of her voice when the speed hump causes her pain.

Consider buying an old truck and loosely filling it with empty tin cans, then driving it repeatedly over the speed hump at 01.00 in the morning. When it snows, you could order a bulldozer to clear the snow and this might have the 'unforeseen' side effect of ripping up the speed hump hidden under the surface of the snow. I have sent you the rules and laws concerning speed humps and speed cushions on public roads.
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