article was published in December 2010 on the possibility of removing traffic
lights in London so as to speed traffic flows, reduce pedestrian waiting times,
and generally reduce congestion:
Transport for London (TfL) are proposing to scrap
a number of traffic lights in London. It is very interesting therefore to see
the impact of doing so in Portishead, near Bristol. A video that is well worth
looking as it shows the result is here:
www.wimp.com/trafficlights. Traffic flows much more smoothly and congestion
is reduced, with no increase in accidents. The video was produced by Martin
Cassini who also has a web site with more information at
as he seems to be running an active campaign on this issue.
Another success story is the London Borough of
Ealing where traffic lights were covered up in 2009 at two junctions –
Gunnersbury Lane/Bollo Lane and Wester Road/Featherstone Road. After eight
months, the results were obviously a success with more traffic flow through the
junctions but queue lengths decreased by two thirds. Pedestrian waiting times
reduced by half and no accidents were recorded. The vast majority of local
residents supported the change. As a result the council has decided to try the
same approach at 5 other junctions.
There’s Always Someone…
Labour GLA Member Valerie Shawcross has written a
misleading letter to some local newspapers about the removal of 145 traffic
lights and “pedestrian crossings” in London. Here is what your editor said in
“The letter from Labour GLA member Val Shawcross
concerning the removal of 145 traffic lights was surely misleading. There is no
suggestion that pedestrian crossings will be removed - simply that the traffic
lights controlling them will be removed along with traffic lights at junctions
which are unnecessary.
I suggest 145 is a trivial number and it should
be much larger. There are about 5,000 traffic lights in London, and they grew
rapidly during the regime of the former Mayor. I would like to see about 1,450
removed, not 145! That could include 3 in Chislehurst where I live which are
totally unnecessary and cause major traffic congestion.
The removal of the proposed lights is only being
undertaken after a very close review of the safety issues. No traffic lights are
proposed for removal which might increase accidents.
The letter from Ms Shawcross is an attempt to
stir up needless controversy and distort the facts, when removing many traffic
lights would be a positive step to reduce traffic congestion, avoid pedestrians
being delayed and with no downside to road safety.”
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