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I thought it might be nice to contact the Newcastle City Council about the speed bumps. I'm trying for irony here...

No, I will not be sending this letter - it's not worth it.

Dear Sir,

I admit that I was not pleased when I heard about the plans to have speed bumps on Grange Road in Fenham. Until they were laid, it was possible to drive away from my home without passing over any bumps at all. However, I would like to congratulate the Council on a job well done. I understand that the Council might not want to take any credit for the decision to have speed bumps, especially since, as it was explained to me by one of your colleagues, it was the decision of the local residents to have the speedbumps.

Fair enough, it was the clearly the residents' decision, when you offered them speedbumps or nothing as a solution to the road safety problems in the area. It's a good job you did not offer them chicanes, since they would not have resulted in some of the smoothest sections of Grange Road that one can drive over. In fact, it is for this reason that I am writing. While the bumps may cause the front suspension of my car to creak when I pass over them at speeds that do not register on my speedometer, they are, on the whole, much smoother and more aesthetically pleasing than the rest of the Grange Road road surface. I was wondering whether the Council would be prepared to lay some more speed bumps - preferably one large one between each of the four that were put down the other week.

Perhaps it would also be possible to have some road markings too. The speedbumps look wonderful with their mandatory arrows and side markers, without which it is easy to accidentally miss them and really bump your passengers, even at the new mandatory 20 mph speed limit which was also recently established on Grange Road. Surely road markings would enhance the rest of the street. Perhaps the road markings could have been supplied instead of the 20mph signs, which are clearly a waste of money since the combination of speedbumps and pot-holes prevent one driving at even a snail's pace.

Admittedly, someone has freshly marked the blind junction between Cedar Road and Grange Road, which is impossible to leave safely, due to the impunity with which motorists park on the adjacent double yellow lines, obscuring all lines of sight out of it. However, I fully understand the Council's rejection of my request to have a convex mirror placed opposite the junction. With a mirror, I would actually be able to use the junction safely, thus encouraging me to travel over only one of the new speedbumps. Obviously, the Council is intent that I should travel over as many of its speedbumps as possible in order to boost the local economy by increasing the wear and tear on my suspension. Either it's that, or a desire that I spend more money at local petrol stations through travelling an extra 3 miles a day in order to avoid all the speedbumps that have been placed on the direct routes between my house and the places I go.

I cannot applaud the behaviour of Newcastle City Council enough. Keep up the good work!

Yours faithfully,

Ashley Frieze

27 March 2001
Ashley Frieze