The Alliance of British Drivers

London Region

Traffic & Parking
   Road Safety

Tower BridgeTraffic Congestion - A Major Problem

In London traffic congestion has probably been a problem ever since the city was founded - for example average traffic speeds are known to be similar today to what they were in Victorian times when it was predominantly horse drawn. Although cycling has increased in recent years, and bus usage increased due to massive subsidies to bus operators, traffic congestion is still a major problem. This is frustrating to road users, economically costly in wasted time and results in greater atmospheric pollution.

The Greater London Authority and Mayor have established various strategies to tackle traffic problems in London, particularly central London, as part of their overall transport strategy - click on London Transport Strategy for more details of the policies established in 2010 and a subsequent Roads Task Force Consultation, or go to Congestion for several articles on congestion charging and the road pricing.

In 2016 the Greater London Assembly Transport Committee undertook a "Scrutiny" of Traffic Congestion in London. The ABD's submission to it can be read here: Congestion-Scrutiny.

 In summary however, the GLA has no plans to significantly improve the road transport network in London and believes that public transport is the only solution. The ABD does not agree with this strategy and suggests that improvements in the road network should be undertaken, particular in the outer London boroughs and on strategic routes. An improvement to congestion might be achieved by removing traffic lights. Go to this page for more information on that: Removing_Lights. One thing the former mayor was keen on was more tram or light rail systems, but look at the following page for an article on the Croydon Tramlink system if you really want to know how unsuccessful that has been: Croydon Tramlink .

Of course London is not unusual in comparison with other UK urban areas. According to the UK Commission for Integrated Transport, the UK has the worst road congestion in Europe, the longest work commuting times, and some of the most expensive and lowest quality public transport. This is primarily down to lack of investment in the transport infrastructure (both roads and public transport).


Many London Boroughs also have considerable problems with on-street parking of vehicles, but the local boroughs have now turned this into an opportunity to raise funds used for other purposes than regulating parking. This has lead to the introduction of Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) or Permit Parking Schemes. Go to Permit Parking for more information on that subject. Go to Parking for some more general articles on parking issues.


Copyright Alliance of British Drivers 2007/2016. Refer to the Legal page for conditions of use of this web site.
Note that this web site covers only the activities of the ABD in the London region and the issues we face. Please go to the main ABD web site at for national policies and activities.
Home  About  Membership  News  Press Releases  Newsletters  Traffic  Road Safety  Environment  Links  Legal  Search  Contact