Traffic calming is normally used in residential and urban areas. Physical features are installed to reduce the speed and amount of traffic passing through an area to make roads safer for all road users. By doing this, the quality of the local environment can also potentially be improved.
Deciding where traffic calming is needed
Streets will be considered for traffic calming if identified by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), police, elected representatives, community groups, or residents.
All traffic calming requests are assessed by DfI to decide if traffic calming is justified and what priority it should be given.
Before putting a traffic calming scheme in place DfI will consult with police, emergency services, bus companies and local residents’ representatives to decide which measures are most appropriate.
One of the keys to a successful scheme is local community involvement. Local concerns identified through well-planned consultation will help to make sure that the suitable measures are provided.
Potential benefits of traffic calming
Traffic calming can:
- reduce the number and severity of casualties resulting from road traffic collisions, especially those involving pedestrians and cyclists
- discourage heavy vehicles and ‘through traffic’ from using unsuitable routes
- reduce speeding
- improve the urban street environment for local communities
- provide a greater feeling of safety
- encourage more walking and cycling
Road features used
- road humps
- mini roundabouts
- footway build-outs
- priority junctions
- central islands
- reduced speed limits
Asking for traffic calming in your area
You must contact the local DfI Roads divisional traffic management section for your area to ask for traffic calming.
You can find contact details at these links:
- DfI Roads - Northern Division
- DfI Roads - Eastern Division
- DfI Roads - Western Division
- DfI Roads - Southern Division
You should explain why you feel traffic calming is needed.
They will carry out an assessment of the area. This will consider the following:
- three-year road traffic injury collision history (as provided by the police)
- vehicle speeds
- volume and type of traffic
- environmental reasons (presence of schools, playgrounds or shops)
Each requested traffic calming location is scored based on the above information.
Traffic-calming measures are developed for the highest scoring locations and residents will be consulted about the proposed layout.
Once a final layout is agreed, DfI then needs to successfully finish the necessary legal procedures to allow the measures to be built.
Where traffic calming is not considered suitable, other measures such as signs and road markings may be used to improve road safety in the area.