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Road delays are down and average speeds are up on London’s roads after Boris Johnson launched a series of co-ordinated measures to tackle congestion. Official figures show severe delay and disruption are down by 5% in the last year while traffic speeds during morning peak are up by 3.1% since 2007.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

“I know how important reducing the burden of congestion is to Londoners, particularly for thousands of families living in the suburbs, and with the 2012 Games on the horizon we have an extra incentive to ensure congestion is eased on our roads. Much like an Olympic athlete you have to build up to these things so we have put in a lot of hard work, there is a lot more to come and we are committed to making sure our roads flow as smoothly as possible when the world comes to London next year.”

Work put in motion by the Mayor include:

  • 1,200 days of potential disruption prevented after the Mayor introduced a permit scheme for utility companies carrying out works that has enabled TfL to refuse nearly 9,000 permits since last April.
  • More than half of London’s boroughs have introduced the permit scheme, with seven more applying to. This would mean three quarters of the capital’s roads would be covered by the scheme.
  • This has meant overall level of roadworks on ‘red routes’ is down 8% annually and the amount of disruption they cause down 20%.
  • 1727 traffic lights reviewed since April 2009, reducing delays at those signals by 6.8%.
  • Installing state-of-the-art SCOOT system across capital’s 6,000 traffic lights allowing signals to automatically adjust their timings to suit the level of traffic reducing delays at each location by an
    estimated 12%.
  • Identified 129 locations where traffic flow could be improved by ripping out traffic signals and providing an alternative type of crossing. Work then takes place in consultation with the local
    residents before a final decision is made on removal of the signal.
  • First trial of pedestrian countdown timers on traffic signals which research has shown can increase the number of vehicles getting through a junction without having to stop by up to 6.5%.

Edmund King, president of the Automobile Association, backed the work that the Mayor’s Office is undertaking in the capital.

He said:

“We applaud steps already taken by the Mayor in terms of coordination of road works, phasing of traffic lights, reducing incidents at Blackwall Tunnel, targeting traffic hot spots, promotion of the electric vehicle strategy and encouraging cycling.”

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