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Speed bumps destroying our cars, reveal police driver

PUBLISHED: 15:02 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:19 22 July 2010

A POLICE officer has broken ranks to blast ""the damned speed bumps"" for making his job hell while answering emergency 999 calls.

A POLICE officer has broken ranks to blast "the damned speed bumps" for making his job hell while answering emergency 999 calls - and revealed they have caused three police BMWs to be taken out of service.

Islington police chiefs have refused to criticise the council's policy of speed bump building in the past.

But a serving Islington officer has revealed that three top-of-the-range BMW 5-Series cars have had to be decommissioned after hitting speed bumps.

And he claims the damage to the £50,000 cars was so great that their suspensions sheared away from the chassis, causing irreparable damage.

The whistleblower - whose identity we have protected - said: "Recently our fleet of BMW 5-Series vehicles were all removed from service due to serious problems with the chassis and suspension arms. It was established that speed bumps were responsible for the chassis splitting away from the suspension arms."

And the highly trained police driver claimed a brand new BMW 3-Series suffered frontal damage after just one week.

He said: "We recently took delivery of a new BMW 3-Series. It has been at the station one week and already the front of the car has damage from the speed bumps."

And he claims speed bumps have caused a litany of problems for the rest of the borough's fleet, continuing: "That is just three of the fleet - other vehicles including Vauxhall Astras and Transit vans all suffer from serious problems associated with the damned speed bumps."

The officer was moved to speak out - despite risk of disciplinary action - after the Gazette revealed Islington Council was landed with a £40,000 bill for speed bump damage to its fleet.

He said: "I would suggest £40k is a fraction of the real figure. I work on the response team so have the awful everyday experience of driving over the humps while attending 999 calls."

An Islington police spokeswoman said: "In the last year we replaced three BMW 5-Series cars which had exceeded their operational life cycle. Running costs meant it was no longer economical to use them. A BMW 3-Series has recently been taken out of service under warranty to the dealership for a battery fault. No faults have been reported in relation to Astras or Transit vans."

Councillor Greg Foxsmith said: "We consult with local residents, road safety groups and emergency services before we put in traffic calming measures. Government legislation restricts our use of speed camera technology so for the moment at least we'll rely on physical measures. This week, campaign group RoadPeace confirmed that speed humps were the most effective way to reduce the number of casualties on our roads.


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