A local resident writes in about LBWF ‘traffic calming measures’ that do the opposite! UPDATED

The post that follows, contributed by a local resident, describes how badly thought-out traffic calming schemes in Waltham Forest are producing damaging consequences.

It is a valuable case study in itself, but doubly welcome because it further substantiates two of this blog’s long-standing observations – that LBWF’s traffic calming/ active travel initiatives are often subject to spin, with the upsides inflated and the downsides ignored; and that despite their rhetoric, Waltham Forest councillors and officers are poor at responding to residents’ legitimate grievances, a major reason, of course, why LBWF is rated the sixth most complained about local authority in England.

So over to our correspondent.

‘A growing number of residents in Chingford and other parts of the borough are alarmed by the apparent “traffic calming measures” which have had a negligible effect on traffic speeds but are causing severe issues for those living nearby.

According to the LBWF Leader, Cllr. Grace Williams, her Principal Engineer and the Corporate Director, the speed humps are there to slow down traffic to 20mph in order to “save lives” and are “designed” for “a smooth transition of vehicles”.

In reality, the buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles, delivery vans, skip lorries, LBWF waste lorries, LBWF caged vans and some cars do NOT take any notice of the speed humps and thunder across them with impunity! The effects are that our homes are vibrating throughout the day and night with a major increase in the noise pollution as vehicles hit the speed hump, thunder over and bounce off.

Residents have described the ensuing effects as akin to earth tremors with: 

  • radiators, doors, and household items rattling;
  • items falling off shelves;
  • windows creaking; and
  • the feeling of a train passing beneath your home. 

Residents have complained of

  • sleep disruption;
  • cracks in properties (that were not there before the speed humps were implemented);
  • conversations being drowned out; and
  • harm to our peace and quiet. 

In addition, residents who use public transport have described their bus journeys as “bone shaking” and “spine jolting,” causing pain and discomfort regardless of whether they are sitting or standing!

To make matters worse, the 20mph limit is currently unmonitored and therefore ineffective: despite the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, and Community Roadwatch (a partnership between the former and residents) stating very clearly that LBWF must take responsibility for enforcement, it has refused to do so.

Though a growing number of residents have contacted LBWF via its official complaint’s procedure and/or e-mailed the senior leadership team, the response has been shameful: everyone has received a copy and paste reply merely stating how these “traffic calming measures” will “save lives”!

Questioned under the Freedom of Information Act, LBWF council will not divulge:

  1. how much taxpayers’ money has been spent on these ineffective measures (this is public money, so we have a right to know); and
  2. how many complaints have been received from residents and from which roads etc. since these “life saving measures” were introduced.

LBWF has not provided reasons at to why they are unable to provide this information, so taxpayers’ money is being spent, but unaccountably.

Whilst the residents and I do not dispute that vehicles need to reduce their speeds, the “traffic calming measures” should not be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of residents.

What’s so frustrating and reprehensible is that LBWF continue to dismiss our genuine concerns and refuses to rethink the measures despite stating on its website that: “We need to listen to our residents on big and small issues,” and “We want to be uniting, and accountable to our communities”’.

If you are experiencing the same or similar issues, please e-mail the following:

The Council Leader, Cllr. Grace Williams, at: Cllr.Grace.Williams@walthamforest.gov.uk

The Council Chief Executive, Martin Esom, at: Martin.Esom@walthamforest.gov.uk    

Councillor Elizabeth Baptiste (Valley Ward) at:


and/or the campaign group at speedhumpandtablee4@gmail.com


The campaign group is now running three petitions, see




Related Posts

Walthamstow resident and community activist Charlie Edwards dismantles LBWF’s claim that it ‘consulted’ before installing 500 new bike hangers

Waltham Forest council is the sixth most complained about in all of England

LBWF in Private Eye yet again, this time over dodging key questions about whether it consulted the emergency services prior to implementing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Despite being berated by the Information Commissioner’s Office in 2020, LBWF failings over the Freedom of Information Act continue

Can the ordinary resident get justice in Waltham Forest?

The Housing Ombudsman Service berates LBWF for its error-strewn response to a resident’s routine request for information