Traffic levels in the capital have risen for the first time in thirteen years, prompting calls for Boris Johnson to drop his policy of annual fares increases and expand the bus network.
Figures contained in a new Transport for London report show that peak time traffic on London’s biggest roads increased by up to 4% last year, causing a “deterioration” in journey times and longer traffic jams.
London Assembly member Darren Johnson says the increase in traffic is “the inevitable consequence of high fares and giving priority to cars.”
Earlier this month Mr Johnson claimed changes to the Mayor’s planning policies could see “up to 35,000 extra car parking spaces created”.
He’s also criticised the Mayor’s decision to speed up traffic lights, a change intended to increase journey times but which the AM says has instead tempted more drivers back onto the streets.
He commented: “The Mayor needs to reverse the policies that are clogging up London’s streets, by lowering fare and lifting his freeze on expanding the bus fleet.
“Transport for London spent several years rejecting safety improvements to dangerous junctions for pedestrians and cyclists which they felt would lead to longer traffic queues for cars and lorries.
“There was also a policy of reviewing and taking out traffic lights. Even though these policies are not being given the same priority as before, we have a new set of silly ideas like the £30bn ring road tunnel.
“We need positive initiatives that get people out of their cars and encourage public transport, bikes and walking.”
Transport bosses insist their policies are aimed at ensuring road conditions are improved “for all road users, including motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and freight.”
Leon Daniels, head of surface transport at TfL, said: “We are investing £4billion in improving our roads over the next 10 years and have hundreds of staff working 24/7 to monitor the network and change traffic signals efficiently to keep London moving.”