Optical illusion speed bumps have been painted on roads across London as part of an ongoing trial which aims to reduce traffic speeds.

TfL first introduced the black and white patterns – which look exactly like the real thing to oncoming drivers, but are in fact 2D virtual speed cushions – on the A117, in the borough of Newham, back in November 2014.

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Nine months after the trial in Newham, average speeds reduced by 3mph. And there are now 45 of the illusory bumps across the capital, in the hope of creating a road network in London that’s free from death or serious injury.

speed bump in the road
Tricks of perspective are used to make 2D road cushions look exactly like this real speed bump (AndrewMaltzoff/Getty Images)

Nigel Hardy, TfL’s Head of Sponsorship, Road Space Management, said: “This Vision Zero approach to reducing road danger includes testing the effectiveness of 20mph limits on parts of Transport for London’s road network.

“As part of these trials a number of different measures – including new signs, road markings and painted speed bumps – are being introduced to reduce traffic speeds.

“We will continue to try new speed reducing ideas to save lives and prevent injury on our roads.”

This is not the only commitment the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has made when it comes to the city’s roads. To tackle air quality, there is the Ultra Low Emission Zone – estimated to result in nearly a 50% reduction in road transport NOx emissions in 2020.

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