Decision Session – Executive Member for



18 January 2021

Report of the Assistant Director Transport, Highways and Environment



Haxby Road Speed Cushions Danger Reduction scheme:

Triple cushion replacement trial




1.        This report advises on the results and evaluation of a trial road layout on Haxby Road, New Earswick, and offers recommendations for concluding the trial and completing the scheme.




2.        The Executive Member is asked to consider the feedback received from various interested parties and approve the suggested amendments in Option 3 and as shown in Annex B, which is to make the trial measures permanent with minor changes:


To improve on the existing layout and allay some safety concerns about the southbound direction. There could also be minor reductions in noise and vibration nuisance to residents.




3.        This section of Haxby Road is in a 20mph school safety zone. Prior to the trial, the traffic calming measures comprised two sets of triple speed cushions which had been installed at different times, the first over 20 years ago as part of the original school safety zone, the second in 2015 as part of the Haxby to Clifton Moor cycle route scheme which saw the 20mph zone extended to include a full width speed table cycle crossing just south of the Outer Ring Road. The carriageway width lends itself to a triple speed cushion arrangement, but in order to provide safe gaps between the cushions, the cushions had to be installed off-centre in the traffic lanes.  


4.        Council officers have received complaints from members of the public about the potential danger to cyclists from drivers veering into the advisory cycle lanes to negotiate the outer cushions. These complaints have included reports of near-misses and non-injury collisions between vehicles and cyclists. Officers have also received complaints from residents living in the properties adjacent to the measures about vibration and, in one case, alleged damage to their property as a result of vehicles passing over the cushions.


5.        In an attempt to tackle these issues, proposals for trial road layouts were discussed and presented in a Decision Session report in May 2017. Following further design work, the two sets of triple speed cushions were removed in late November 2019, and in January 2020 a new arrangement was introduced just south of Haxby Road Farm with a pair of cushions and the northbound cycle lane protected by delineators with “wands” as shown in Annex A.   


6.        The trial was originally intended to last six months, however, this was extended to nine months to allow for a period of abnormal traffic conditions experienced during the first Covid19 lockdown.


7.        There have been no recorded injury accidents at either set of cushions, before or after the recent changes.

8.        Vehicle speed surveys have been undertaken before and after implementation of the scheme. As the northern set of triple speed cushions was removed and not replaced, it was expected that vehicle speeds would increase. However, recent speed surveys show a reduction in mean speeds of 3mph to 18mph southbound and 20mph northbound near the trial road layout. There has also been a slight speed reduction north of this but this could be due to the before and after surveys not being undertaken in exactly the same place. Here, there are mean speeds of 23mph southbound and 22mph northbound. Traffic volumes currently average around 8,500 vehicles from 7am to 7pm each day. This demonstrates that the measures are effective as mean speeds at the measures are within the speed limit.


9.        There are also design considerations arising from the York Outer Ring Road (Haxby Road roundabout) project that could affect the existing 20mph zone, and, consequentially, how to go forward with the trial. It is understood that the A1237 roundabout is intended to be within a 60mph speed limit. The current limit on the roundabout is 30mph, dropping down to 20mph on Haxby Road southbound just after the exit. If the roundabout scheme goes ahead, the existing speed table cycle crossing point on Haxby Road would be redundant due to the provision of a new subway. If it is decided that this speed table is no longer required, it is hoped that the action of returning the carriageway surface to level at this point can be included in the Outer Ring Road project.


10.    The gap left between the speed table cycle crossing point and the trial arrangement is now too long to be legally considered a 20mph zone. This coupled with the possible future removal of the existing speed table cycle crossing point would render the 20mph speed limit inappropriate for this rural section of road. Therefore, the speed limit terminal point is likely to be relocated to its former position just south of the entrance to Haxby Road Farm when speed limits are reviewed in conjunction with the York Outer Ring Road upgrade. In the interim, minor signing changes are likely to be required to bring the speed limit in line with the regulations.




11.    Residents, the Parish Council, relevant Ward Councillors, emergency services, bus companies, road user groups and other interested parties were approached for their feedback on the trial. They were asked to consider the following:


a.   Is the new layout an overall improvement on the previous triple cushion arrangement?

b.   Do you think vehicle speed has reduced, increased or remained the same on this section of road. Similarly, has there been a change in driver behaviour? 

c.   Have you noticed a change in the level of traffic noise and/or vibration?

d.   Do you think the road is safer for cyclists and / or other motor vehicle occupants (motorcycles, cars, buses, goods vehicles)?

e.   Are there any other road layouts you think would be more effective (that would encourage low vehicle speeds and still accommodate cyclists)?


12.    Thirteen responses were received. Residents, the Parish Council, relevant Councillors, Cyclists, Motorcyclists, Bus operators, the School and Council Officers were all represented. The most significant findings from the consultation are outlined below.


13.    Nine of the thirteen respondents considered that the new layout was an improvement on the previous triple cushion arrangement. Many of these commented that the northbound arrangement was considerably safer, but considered that the southbound was not as cyclists were still getting squeezed by motor vehicles. The protected cycle lane and the wand orca product were generally viewed favourably.


14.    Little change was noted in vehicle speed or driver behaviour. Speed surveys have shown a reduction in vehicle speeds at the measures.


15.    One verbal report from a local resident suggests that increased vehicle speed on approach to the cushions combined with them being negotiated off centre to the lane has increased traffic noise and associated ground borne vibration.


Officer comments

16.    Vehicle speed surveys suggest a reduction in vehicle speed on approach to the cushions. However, the removal of the northern set of speed cushions does present more opportunity to approach the cushions at speed particularly when the road is lightly trafficked. There is visible uneven wear on the corner of the southbound cushion and it would be possible to reposition the speed cushion by 100mm towards the centre of the carriageway to slightly ease vehicles hitting it off-centre at a cost of around £1k including traffic management. This could help alleviate noise and vibration.


17.    Northbound travel was considered safer for all road users. However, concerns were raised about travelling southbound with vehicles regularly veering into the cycle lane.


18.    A number of alterations were suggested. Four requests were made for the arrangement to be replaced with a full width speed table. Two questioned if a priority system would work in order to narrow the road and allow for protected cycle lanes at both sides. Minor changes to the lining were also suggested – i.e. removal of the southbound cycle lane marking in the vicinity of the cushions and being replaced with cycle symbols, and more effective removal of the centre line at the measures. The School requested that cyclists be taken off road for the full length from the toucan crossing to the A1237 roundabout.


Officer comments

19.    A speed table has previously been discounted as another full width road hump on this route would have disadvantages for bus operators and larger emergency service vehicles. However, proposed subways as part of the A1237 outer ring road proposals remove the need for the existing speed table cycle crossing point 200 metres further north. As this means there would be no overall increase in the number of speed tables, this option is a greater possibility. Although further feasibility work would be required, a feature such as this is likely to cost in the region of £10k including fees.


20.    A priority narrowing could cause long queues on a road with this volume of traffic, so would not be considered a suitable measure. Vehicle speeds could also increase as drivers speed up to beat opposing traffic through the control measures.


21.    Cycle symbols in place of the southbound cycle lane and clearer removal of the centreline are both viable options if the layout is fundamentally to remain the same. This is likely to cost in the region of £2k including fees.


22.    It has been a long term aspiration to provide an off road cycle facility from the existing toucan crossing to the A1237. A previous study indicated this could cost in the region of £100k, considered to be well outside the scope of the Danger Reduction budget.


Road Safety Audit


23.    Road safety audits at stage 1-2 and 3 have been undertaken on the trial road layout. No major issues have been flagged up, however the audit identified the same issue as many of the consultees, that there is a risk of southbound cyclists being squeezed by passing vehicles. The audit considered that the only solution to eliminate this issue would be to take cyclists off-road to allow localised width alterations and a pair of speed cushions to be installed.


LTN 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design


24.    Although the road layout trial was designed and implemented before the publication of LTN 1/20 in July 2020, it follows the principle of using light segregation to protect cyclists and help promote a perception of safety making the route more attractive.





25.    Based on the above, there are considered to be four options for the road layout at this location. The options are:


1)   Remove the arrangement entirely,

2)   Retain the measures and make permanent, with no changes,

3)   Retain the measures and include minor changes to the road markings as suggested: replace the cycle lane with symbols only and refresh the removal of the centreline. It would also be possible to relocate the speed cushion in the southbound lane by 100mm to slightly ease vehicles hitting it off-centre, or

4)   Replace the arrangement with a full width speed table.




26.    Option 1 would not achieve the aims of the trial and would reduce the impact of the calming features within the 20mph zone, with the first traffic calming measure in the zone being the raised toucan crossing just north of Joseph Rowntree School. It is likely that speeds would increase on approach but noise and vibration nuisance would be eliminated. The removal is likely to cost in the region of £2k including fees.


27.    Option 2 would be the cheapest option with only the changes to the speed limit to additionally fund. Most respondents to the consultation cited an overall improvement to the road layout, and there have been no recorded injury accidents at this site before or after the changes, nor has there been an increase in vehicle speeds. However, it would not allay any safety concerns about the southbound direction.


28.    Option 3 would allow minor improvements to option 2 at a cost of around £3k if all amendments are taken forward. It would serve to allay some safety concerns about the southbound direction and could have a minor positive effect on noise and vibration if the positions of the speed cushions are slightly adjusted. It would bring the layout closer in line with LTN 1/20 removing a length of the substandard width southbound cycle lane. This proposal is shown as Annex B.


29.    Option 4 would be the most expensive at around £10k and only appropriate when it can be confirmed that the existing speed table cycle crossing point will be removed as part of the A1237 Outer Ring Road project. It would however, eliminate any issues with motor vehicles having to enter cycle lanes. It cannot be guaranteed that this would resolve concerns from residents about continued noise and vibration.      


Council Plan


30.    The most relevant of the key priorities is “getting around sustainably”, as any changes should benefit cyclists the most. It is likely that many of these cyclists are pupils at nearby Joseph Rowntree School, possibly encouraging good travel habits at an early age.




31.     The proposals in this report have the following implications:


·         Financial The cost of implementing the trial was £21k, which was funded from the 19/20 capital programme, and there is a further £7k allocated in the 20/21 programme for monitoring / amendments of the trial as required. Approximately £1k of this has already been spent. Options 1, 2 and 3 could be implemented within the remaining budget. Option 4 would require additional funding.

·         Human Resources (HR) - There are no HR implications.

·         Equalities - There are no equalities implications.

·         Legal - There are no legal implications.

·         Crime and Disorder - There are no crime and disorder implications

·         Information Technology (IT) - There are no IT implications.

·         Property - There are no property implications.

·         Other – There are no other implications.


Risk Management


32.    In compliance with the Council’s risk management strategy, the following risks associated with the recommendations in this report have been identified and described in the following points, and set out in the table below:


33.    Organisation/Reputation - there is a risk of criticism from the public in implementing changes to which some people may have objections, but equally there could also be criticism from potential supporters of the amendments if it is not implemented. Good quality consultation should ensure that well informed decisions are made about the scheme and reduce the risk of public criticism.


Risk Category









Measured in terms of impact and likelihood, a risk score of 6 is considered a low score and only requires monitoring.


Contact Details




Chief Officer Responsible for the report:


Louise Robinson


Transport Projects

Tel No.  07903 868821



James Gilchrist

Assistant Director of Transport,

Highways and Environment

Report Approved









Specialist Implications Officer(s) 

There are no specialist implications.


Wards Affected: 






Huntington and New Earswick


For further information please contact the author of the report



Background Papers:


Decision Session - Executive Member for Transport 11/05/2017 Haxby Road (north of New Earswick) Triple Speed Cushion Replacement Trials




Annex A -  Haxby Road, New Earswick Triple Cushion Replacement Trial -  Road Layout


Annex B - Haxby Road, New Earswick Triple Cushion Replacement Trial – Proposed Changes to Road Layout