Greater London Transport Committee

TfL told ‘prioritise walking and cycling’ to beat congestion

The Greater London Authority’s Transport Committee has called on Transport for London to make cycling, walking and public transport central to development priorities as the city battles congestion, which is set to rise, despite measures such as the congestion charge.

The Greater London Authority has also asked Transport for London to undertake proper traffic counts of cars, cyclists and people choosing to walk.

In the report’s foreword, Valerie Shawcross, deputy chair of the transport committee said: "This report explores the extent of road congestion now and in the future, and examines the impact of the Mayor’s policy of ‘smoothing the traffic flow’ on congestion levels. While there has been some success to date in reducing road congestion by cutting the number of road works through the current permit scheme, and in achieving small reductions in delays at junctions through the use of smarter traffic management technology, the scale of the future problem may require calling on a wider range of practical policies."

Five of the UK’s top ten congestion hotspots are in the Capital, not forgetting the M25. Although representing just five per cent of the UK’s major road network, London’s roads account for 20 per cent of serious congestion, costing the UK economy an estimated £2 billion per year.

The report goes on to state: "Another option pursued by the Mayor and TfL is to reduce the demand for road space, ie, through the reduction of delay and disruption caused by road works, and helping to shift Londoners towards using sustainable and public transport. A majority of the Committee concluded that a road user hierarchy, enshrined in the Mayor’s London Plan, and prioritising walking, cycling and public transport over private car use, would help to ensure the Mayor’s modal shift targets are met."

According to, at present more than ten million journeys are made by private motor vehicles in the capital each day, nearly 7,000 buses cover around 700 routes, and almost 90 per cent of London’s freight is transported by road.

The full report is donwloadable here:

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