Why are speed humps still used when they damage tyres, like those fitted to my S-Type Jaguar?

I am writing to you on a subject to which I believe you referred in your column - traffic humps. I am the owner of a Racing Green S-Type Jaguar which is dealer-maintained, and by the way I am an extremely careful driver with a clean licence since 1964. Grange Jaguar of South Croydon invited me for a free 25-point pre-winter check and car wash worth £59, which I thought could not be bad. Within an hour they called me to say I needed two new rear tyres plus reparations to the tracking at a cost of £578, which of course I agreed to.

The dealer advised that the damage was attributable to speed cushions - the ones I try to straddle, and the damage to the tyres was invisible, being on the inner shoulder. The tyres otherwise looked good to for another 20,000 miles. Apart from the cost, which I could handle, there are many other worries. The damage was invisible. I was unaware that I was driving with tyres that must be replaced. In the event of an accident, insurance companies might resist paying up. Driving with illegal tyres could result in a substantial fine and points. Traffic humps are meant to be a contribution to road safety, but by their existence are having the opposite effect, resulting in thousands of cars are being driven with defective tyres and steering imperilling us all. Something needs to be done and I hope that you are the one to do it.

Asked on 20 November 2010 by RF, London E1

Answered by Honest John
I have been campaigning against 'speed cushions' for the very reasons you give for about three years now. We have issued press releases, engaged in debates, advised readers, etc. But the vested interests of local councillors, favoured contractors and 'ring fenced' grants from the last governments ensured that they continue to be installed, even on roads where potholes have not been filled. The most likely way to get rid of them is for anyone suffering cracked walls or subsidence in the vicinity of a hump to sue the council on the grounds these were caused by percussion waves fed through the ground from vehicles crashing over the humps. Two or three hundred thousand pound claims will soon persuade a council to see sense.
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