Do speed humps obstruct the maintenance of roads in snow?

When traffic planners started to suggest speed tables, cushions and pinch points be constructed on our street network 30 years ago, Highway Engineers objected on a number of grounds. Some have been covered in your column during the last year of so. One that I have not seen is the effect of these features on winter maintenance. Gritting lorries and vehicles over 7.3 tonnes are unable to get through pinch points and snowploughs cannot plough roads with tables and humps or width restrictions. The drivers cannot see the humps in snow and the plough will not go through bottlenecks. Many delays on major roads result from vehicles being unable to exit the major road onto local distributors networks that will carry them home. This because winter maintenance has not been carried out on minor roads efficiently for the above reasons. Highway Engineers pointing out these obvious problems above have been seen as obstructive by Local Authorities.

Asked on 6 December 2010 by NT, via email

Answered by Honest John
Of course, speed cushions buried in snow are a serious hazard themselves as in slippery conditions their sloping sides can easily deflect vehicles into oncoming vehicles. Not only that, they cause potholes. The shock-waves of vehicles crossing them creates cracks in the surface and substructure of the roads, which water penetrates, then freezes and, in doing so, expands and breaks up the road. Anyone who ever ordered their installation has a lot to answer for.
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