According to the ‘Department for Transport Road Traffic Statistics‘ road traffic fell in 2012 slightly to 302.6 billion vehicle miles. This is a very high number so it poses the question, is enough being done to reduce the amount people use cars? Perhaps more important to the average driver, is enough being done to reduce the amount of traffic? In 2011 the total road length in Britain was estimated at 245,000 miles, this is an increase of just 0.9% in over 10 years. So again is enough being done to decrease traffic and congestion? Well London thinks so.
Cycle lane initiative to double cyclists in London
There is currently a £913 million bid to double the number of bike users in London within the next decade. Plans within this bid include:
- Building a two way segregated cycle route along the embankment, there have been reports that this has been proposed several years ago and thrown out, so don’t hold your breath.
- A study into banning certain lorry’s from entering London at certain times.
- Introducing lower speed limits.
- Allowing bikes on the DLR at certain times.
- Encouraging children to cycle to school.
- Trialing electric hire bikes.
- Redesigning dangerous junctions.
The Mayor also plans to smooth traffic flow throughout the city; this is not designed to make car journeys quicker, but to reduce uncertainty around journey planning, and to make journeys less stressful.
SCOOT – Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique
‘SCOOT is an automated, intelligent traffic signal control system which can alter signal timings in real time to reduce stops and delays for traffic.’ – Smoothing Traffic Flow
The idea behind the SCOOT system is that it can detect when traffic is building up and make changes to signals to respond to conditions, when the city is this congested it makes you wonder how much good a system like this will do. Well the figures are here:
- Can reduce delays by up to 12%.
- Reduce stops by up to 8%.
- During an incident these figures go up to 29% and 25% respectively.
Removing Traffic Signals
There is a push to review traffic signals in the city, some traffic signals have been around for years and no longer serve a real purpose. It should be noted however that in the ‘Smoothing Traffic Flow’ report the powers that be are quick to point out no signal will be removed if it still has purpose. Not only are there plans to remove traffic signals there are plans to update them, including a countdown for pedestrians to cross the road. You may have noticed these already in place, they are designed to help pedestrians cross the road quickly so traffic can get moving.
The Mayors Code of Conduct for Roadworks
The code of conduct is designed to improve the co-ordination of roadworks and thus reduce disruption when roads are dug up. Roadworks are an important function of the transport network and if improvements are made to roads or cycle lanes added then roadworks will have an impact on current traffic.
It looks like there will be constant improvements to Britain’s roads, even if not many miles are being added. So if you need to re-new your streetworks ticket, visit Project Skills Solutions for reasonably priced NRSWA training.
Please share your thoughts on the current congestion in London and Britain, should new roads be added? or should the existing network be improved? Also if anyone uses a bike to get around in London, what would you like to see to make your journey easier?