More than a thousand sets of traffic lights have had their timings “reviewed” by Transport for London in the past 12 months, a move the capital’s transport body says has reduced delays for drivers by 6 per cent “without holding up pedestrians.”
Figures provided by TfL show a 5.90 increase in the number of vehicles clearing “through the first green phase” following the changes to the light timings.
A second set of figures suggest a .30% increase in the number of occasions pedestrians “easily clear the kerb during the first green man/blackout period.”
TfL says it is reviewing a further 1,000 sets of lights and has identified 145 sites where they could be removed “or replaced with alternative measures” following discussions with local boroughs.
Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor’s Transport Advisor, said: “There are few things more annoying than sitting at a traffic light on red for no apparent reason and we’ve now identified 145 sites where we think the signals may no longer be doing a useful job. By getting rid of them, we hope we can smooth traffic flow across London and deliver real improvements for all road users.”
The move forms part of Mayor London Boris Johnson’s the Mayor’s Smoothing Traffic Flow agenda and has prompted complaints that any removal of lights could disadvantage vulnerable Londoners.
Calling for the Mayor to be “extremely cautious about taking out pedestrian crossings”, London Assembly Member Val Shawcross said: “Pelican crossings are there for the safety and convenience of people on foot but they make up half of the lights proposed for removal. If anything we need more safe places to cross busy roads; not less.”
Shawcross, Labour’s Assembly transport spokeswoman, added: “Pensioners, those with disabilities and parents of young children might not shout as loud as car drivers but they’re ones who stand to lose out under these plans. I’ll be supporting any Londoners across the city who feel their local roads are about to get more dangerous.”