Mayor urged to tackle London's congested roads

Busy traffic in London London Assembly members want 'more dynamic' ideas to tackle congestion

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London needs a more dynamic approach to tackling its transport issues or face gridlock, a report has warned.

The London Assembly paper asks Mayor Boris Johnson how he plans to tackle congestion over the next two decades.

Mr Johnson previously predicted traffic delays to increase by 20% in 20 years if no action was taken or 14% if measures were introduced.

A spokesperson for the mayor said tackling congestion was one of his "top priorities".

The report, the Future of Road Congestion in London, has been prepared by the assembly's transport committee and it calls for updated congestion projections and a more detailed response to the capital's traffic problems.

Lane rental

The potential consequences of Transport for London's (TfL) lane rental scheme need to be investigated - particularly the extent to which utility companies could pass the cost on to customers - some members of the committee felt.

The lane rental scheme proposes to charge utility companies for digging up roads in the capital, requiring them to apply for a permit.

The majority of members on the committee called for increased priority to be given to sustainable modes of transport such as walking, cycling, public transport and economically important traffic such as freight.

Deputy chairman Val Shawcross said: "The situation on the road network will only get worse unless the mayor actively looks for better ways to manage congestion and promote public transport, walking and cycling."

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A wide range of measures have been put in place to ease congestion...”

End Quote Spokesperson for Mayor of London

A spokesperson for the mayor of London said: "The mayor knows exactly how important reducing the burden of congestion is to Londoners and that is why he has made tackling it one of his top priorities.

"A wide range of measures have been put in place to ease congestion including the rephasing of thousands of traffic lights, a trial of pedestrian countdown crossing timers, the creation of a roadworks permit scheme and a code of conduct for utility companies."

The spokesperson added that the mayor's cycle hire scheme had been used for more than five million journeys within its first year of use.

A Transport for London spokesperson added: "The mayor and TfL are investing billions of pounds to upgrade and increase capacity on London's transport network and smooth traffic flow."

The TfL spokesperson said they had seen a 7% reduction in delays at 2,000 sets of lights over the past year and a 32% cut in "serious disruption caused by road works".

The spokesperson added that the lane rental scheme would "further reduce delays caused by unplanned and unnecessary road works".

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