Cole Road plans : The Myths and the Facts

Myth The plan is to install speed humps on Cole Road
Fact The plan is to install speed cushions on Cole Road.
There is a big difference between the two please select the above links for more information.
Myth The installed speed humps will impede the emergency services
Fact They are speed cushions which are specifically designed to allow emergency service vehicles to pass smoothly through.
Myth The installed speed humps are a waste of money
Fact The reason for the speed cushions is to reduce accidents and prevent serious injuries and fatalities.  The cost of each serious (life changing) injury or fatality is of the order of £1.4 million (most of which is paid for by the tax payer). Even comparatively minor accidents can cause financial damage to vehicles, property and increase the burden on the NHS.  There is therefore a very strong financial argument that over time the proposed scheme will not only prevent injuries but save money.    
Myth The installed speed humps will increase pollution
Fact There is no evidence that pollution will increase. In fact pollution is likely to decrease as more people feel confident to walk or cycle instead of drive.
Myth The installed speed humps will vastly increase the noise
Fact Slower traffic is actually quieter than faster traffic (the general rule of thumb is that for every 10mph decrease in speed the noise energy is halved). 
Myth The speed humps will not slow traffic or reduce accidents
Fact Generally ‘vertical treatments’ such as speed cushions are considered to reduce accidents by 44%. Motor vehicles are likely to travel at around 17mph over a speed cushion. This is a significant reduction on a road where speeds of well in excess of 40mph are common.    
Myth Property Prices will be reduced on roads with traffic calming
Fact There is absolutely no evidence for this. In fact, many people would pay substantially more for a house with safe access, on a road with safe crossing points where children can walk safely to school.    
Myth It is the pedestrians, cyclists and children’s ‘fault’ – if they took more care then this scheme would not be necessary and motorist could drive as fast as they like.
Fact Everyone (motorists, cyclists and children) make mistakes and accidents will inevitably happen. Slower traffic speeds mean that the seriousness of any accident is reduced. Children should not be punished with death or permanent disability simply for stumbling off a kerb or larking around with a friend. They should not be forced to walk to school in single file on a narrow pavement just so a few individuals can shave seconds of their journey time. They should have the option to cycle to school without risking their lives. Pensioners should be able to cross the road to visit their local shops. Residents should have the choice to walk or cycle safely within their community thus reducing their carbon emissions and improving their health.
Myth Somerset County Council has an infinite amount of money and time to constantly refine this scheme until everyone is happy.
Fact This is clearly not true – money is very limited and competition for any funding is very strong. If this scheme does not go ahead there will be no funding for a very long time, the money will be spent elsewhere and Bruton will be left with a very dangerous road.  It is not possible to devise a solution that is effective in reducing traffic speeds that would satisfy those that are fundamentally opposed to reducing their speed and wish to drive everywhere fast. 

There are now two petitions, one supporting the scheme (started by the students at Sexeys school who regularly walk and cross this road) and one rejecting the scheme. Please take time to to look at the plans (sheet 1, sheet 2), make your own decision and sign your chosen petition. You can send your comments to Please also share this information with all Bruton residents and those who attend the schools.

We would also like to say well done to those children that do walk to Sexey’s School; some walk a considerable distance and on unpleasant roads . We appreciate that by walking (and not persuading you parents to drive you) you are reducing congestion, reducing vehicle emissions and protecting the environment.

And a really big well done to the students on Sexey’s School Council who started the petition. It is wonderful and inspirational that young people are actively engaged in local issues and are taking actions that potentially will save lives and prevent injury. Bruton Area Street Improvement Initiative is in total support: you have a right to walk or cycle safely to and from school.

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One Response to Cole Road plans : The Myths and the Facts

  1. Thank you for your very clear myth busters. Have you put them on the Bruton Somerset FB page as I think they would clear up a lot of misunderstandings and gripes? As you said congratulations to Sexeys School Council for taking the initiative to make Cole Road eventually a safer and more pleasant highway.

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