Posted on July 4, 2013

Speed hump / bump


Speed ramps, speed humps, speed bumps and ‘sleeping policemen’ are different terms for rubber traffic calming ramps or cushions that go across the road. The Workplace Depot has a range of ramps aimed at the private sector (as opposed to public highway) so they are NOT subject to the same kind of restrictions that are placed on public roads.

Local authority restrictions and regulations

Local Authorities must comply with the Highways Act and Highways (Road Humps) Regulations 1999 – details here – speed ramps cannot be more than 100mm high, no narrower than 900mm and no vertical face of more than 6mm.There also needs to be other measures in place to slow traffic down, before they reach the speed humps and these could include measures such as warning signs, enforcement cameras, a narrowing of the road or a mini-roundabout. Local authorities will have their own policies such as only using them on roads that have a speed limit of 30mph or lower and that are not A or B class roads. They may also have specific regulations on signage.

Who uses our Speed Ramps?

Local authorities purchase our ramps for non-public highway usage on private roads around buildings, schools, hospitals etc. As well as the public sector, customers tends to be split between those who need it for permanent and temporary applications:


Temporary usage tends to be at events, festivals, outdoor sporting venues and so on where they will be used around the facility to reduce traffic speeds. So this could include use on private estates where there are small roads and access lanes, temporary car parks and elsewhere when they are required for just a few days. The ideal product for this is the Sleeping Policeman with Cable Channel which is a temporary 15mph ramp requiring no ground fixing. There is an additional benefit in that the cable channel often comes in very handy to protect cables and pipes – it has two cable channels with dimensions 35W x 30H mm. Construction sites also use these temporary sleeping policeman ramps.


The ‘sleeping policeman’ (above) can also be bolted to the ground for permanent installation. The 5mph or 10mph speed bumps are widely used on private, single track roads. They are a common sight in country parks, stately homes, golf courses, caravan parks and around stadiums and leisure parks, and are not subject to all the restrictions that are required on public roads.

Problems relating to speed bumps on private property

Although traffic calming measures are an important addition to health and safety, they are not without problems. If a speed ramp has been installed badly or is either too high or has too sharp an angle, then it can cause damage to vehicles. Also the effect can be exaggerated if there is a dip before or after the ramp. There are numerous examples of vehicles being damaged including to exhausts, tyres and coil springs in the suspension, but according to “no one has successfully sued any councils for spring damage by speed humps or speed cushions. The problem is, the humps are only part of the cause. If the springs themselves are badly made and badly seated this admits corrosion to the ends, which are the area of the greatest stress”. This of course can also apply to tyre damage and although there is evidence that where there are high speed ramps, tyres will have a shorter life. A similar ‘partial cause’ argument can be applied to passenger injuries where people have received (or aggravated) back and other injuries – see the BBC’s One Show feature .

We are not aware of examples of any successful claims being made against the owners of speed ramps on private property although if readers know otherwise then please get in touch with us.

In August 2013 the Workplace Depot will be introducing Speed Tables (sometimes called speed cushions) which are a type of hump with a square central plateau and are often preferred by emergency services and bus operators.

And finally – don’t make this at home! A spectacular German advert for a speed ramp – YouTube video here (forward to 40 seconds in).

Speed Ramp Video

The Workplace Depot’s speed ramp information and installation video – click here