Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Traffic Light Stranglehold; 1,000 New Sets since Livingstone Came to Power Add to Gridlock on Routes in Central London

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Traffic Light Stranglehold; 1,000 New Sets since Livingstone Came to Power Add to Gridlock on Routes in Central London

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WILLIAMS

THE number of traffic lights in London has soared to record levels with between two and three new sets installed every week since 2000.

Motoring groups claim the increase is putting a stranglehold on key routes.

Figures released today show that a total of 982 new traffic lights have gone up in the capital in the six years since Ken Livingstone was elected Mayor.

In 2000 motorists had to contend with 4,845 sets. Now there are 5,827.

The rise in the number of traffic lights was uncovered by the Conservative group on the London Assembly.

Roger Evans, the group's transport spokesman, said the figures would be no surprise to disgruntled motorists who were a "long-term target" of the Mayor.

"They provide further evidence that this administration's policies are slowing down traffic and making motorists' lives a misery," claimed Mr Evans.

"The explosion in these extra traffic management measures is making a significant contribution to the ever increasing gridlock that is plaguing our roads.

"It is no good introducing stringent measures such as congestion charging if at the same time you add nearly 1,000 new traffic lights for motorists to negotiate."

Mr Evans added: "The Mayor is not playing a fair game and seems more interested in pursuing a vendetta against motorists, rather than genuinely trying to keep traffic moving."

The RAC Foundation said the policy of putting in more traffic light pedestrian crossings was adversely hitting pedestrian safety.

"Motorists now get so little time on green and so much on red that they take risks they would not have taken a few years ago," said road safety spokesman Kevin Delaney. He added: "They are far less courteous to pedestrians because they now feel the balance has shifted too far the other way.

"You often see traffic lights left on red with not a pedestrian in sight because they have already crossed the road and long disappeared.

"Transport for London's aim was that longer pedestrian-crossing phases would make pedestrians wait for the 'green man' instead of chancing it when a gap emerges in the traffic. …

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