Shrewsbury’s £233,000 speed humps are ‘special’ insists council

Shropshire Council has defended the cost of four 'special' speed humps in Shrewsbury, after the £233,000 project came under fire from roads campaigners.

New speed bumps in Shrewsbury
New speed bumps in Shrewsbury

Professor John Whitelegg from the Shropshire '20’s Plenty’ campaign, had said the money would have been better spent helping to implement speed limits across the county's built up areas.

The speed humps, at Roushill, Shoplatch, Mardol and Bellstone, were completed earlier this year as part of Shrewsbury's Integrated Transport Plan – a series of projects on roads across the town.

In a statement the council said the money to pay for the project had been "externally funded" and "has not cost Shropshire Council tax payers anything".

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for physical infrastructure and highways, said the work had involved "much more than speed humps", resulting in the overall cost – part of which was down to the materials used.

He added that even if it had wanted to, the council would not have been allowed to spend the money on other projects.

He said: "It's important to understand that this work and the cost has involved much more than speed humps – we’ve installed enhanced pedestrian crossings at each location, using high quality materials which improve the overall street scene and feeling of space, while also providing a traffic calming effect.

"They are part of a scheme to improve the public realm in Shrewsbury which was funded by an external funding bid from the council and was subject to a full consultation.

"The funding awarded can only be spent on the work detailed in the bid, so even if we want to spend this on other schemes we can’t.

“These humps they are both special and specific – so much so that Shrewsbury BID asked us to extend the table at the junction of Mardol and Claremont Street to further improve the overall benefits for pedestrians.

“If we were just implementing a 20mph zone, the design choices and traffic calming elements would have been completely different.

“This phase of the SITP work is key to improving Shrewsbury town centre’s public realm. These works – and these new 20mph speed limits – will make the town centre much more attractive to, and safer for, visitors, but especially pedestrians and cyclists.”

Professor Whitelegg had instead urged the council to focus on implementing 20mph speed limits in all urban areas across the county – work he said would cost around £1.3m.

Responding to the criticism of the speed hump work Shropshire Council said that 20mph limit has been introduced along a number of Shrewsbury streets, including the entirety of Barker Street, Bellstone, Bridge Street, Claremont Hill, Claremont Street, Hill’s Lane, Lower Claremont Bank, Mardol, Mardol Quay, Priory Road, Roushill Bank, St Austin’s Friars, St Austin’s Street, Victoria Avenue, Victoria Quay, and Welsh Bridge.

They are also in place at Claremont Bank from its junction with St Austin’s Street for a distance of 15m in a southerly direction, at Roushill from its junction with Mardol to its junction with Raven Meadows, and at Smithfield Road from its junction with Welsh Bridge to its junction with Mardol.

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