Memorandum by The Traffic
Director for London (IT 160)
1. PREAMBLE AND
1.1 The Traffic Director for London is a non-departmental
public body, a corporation sole and an office holder. I was appointed
to the position of Traffic Director for London in November 1991.
1.2 This evidence concentrates on two aspects
of integrated transport, road space management and enforcement.
The work I have been responsible for as Traffic Director for London
has meant that I have direct experience of most of the new road
based techniques and measures mentioned in the Integrated Transport
White Paper, many of which have been pioneered in London.
1.3 This evidence which is written from a London
perspective contains the following:
an explanation of the historical
events which led to the Red Route initiative;
a brief explanation of the relevant
legislation and policy documents which set out the framework for
the development of Red Routes;
details of various road space management
techniques and measures which have been developed in London as
part of the Red Route initiative;
details of new technologies to assist
in the enforcement of traffic regulations on both Red Routes and
other roads in London;
a case study of the implemented Streatham
Town Centre Red Route which demonstrates how the use of road space
management techniques can improve transport integration.
2. THE PRIORITY
2.1 Following the abolition of the Greater London
Council in 1986 criticism was voiced at the lack of strategic
London-wide policies on transport. In response, the Department
of Transport commissioned four Assessment Studies aimed at identifying
transport problems and designing proposals for key areas of London.
The resultant proposals involved a number of schemes for new high
capacity roads in the Capital. Consultation on these proposals
produced an extremely hostile public reaction. As a result these
road building proposals were abandoned and the Priority "Red"
Route concept was developed. The Department of Transport, with
local authority assistance, implemented a pilot "Red Route"
scheme in north and east London in 1991 to assess the potential
of the concept and the various measures. (Ref 1 and 2).
2.2 The Road Traffic Act 1991 (Ref 3)
contains legislation enabling the Secretary of State to designate
the 320 mile priority Red Route Network, which he did in 1992.
In the same year the Department of Transport, following consultation,
published Traffic management and Parking Guidance (Ref
4) which inter alia set out the particular aims for Red
Routes and gave guidance on their development.
2.3 In 1993, after extensive consultation, I
published my Network Plan (Ref 5) which sets out detailed
objectives, timetables and guidance for those developing the proposals
to be implemented as part of each Red Route. These proposals formed
"local plans" for each section of Red Route. The local
plan as a whole required my approval before it could be implemented.
2.4 In 1998, again following consultation a
new version of Traffic Management and Parking Guidance for
London (Ref 6) was issued. This document contains a set of
core principles for all those involved in road transport in London:
the management of traffic and road
space should be based on the movement of people and goods;
a more strategic approach to parking
with the objective of securing a shift to more sustainable transport
modes for travel to London's numerous town centres;
a greater emphasis on measures to
assist buses, cyclists and pedestrians thereby opening up a wider
set of transport choices for all and reducing dependency on the
a clearer recognition of the needs
of all road users, especially people with disabilities or difficulties
a clearer recognition that regional
and local traffic strategies must be comprehensive and a better
awareness of the environmental impacts of traffic in particular
the need to reduce greenhouse gases;
greater realism in appreciating what
can and cannot be achieved in an acceptable manner within current
legislation and with available levels of resources;
better interchange between modes,
particularly from bus and car to rail and underground, and from
public transport to walking; this must be adequately reflected
in the local management of traffic and parking;
more emphasis on the monitoring and
assessments of the impacts of programmes; simple, easy to understand,
output measures must become more prevalent and influential.
2.5 In the light of these core principles the
aims for Red Routes were revised in order to seek to encourage
a shift from the use of the car for personal travel to public
transport, walking or cycling. The new aims for red routes are:
to facilitate the movement of people
and goods in Londonreliably and safely, and with minimum
overall environmental impact;
to improve conditions for cyclists
and contribute to the National Cycling Strategy;
to provide better conditions for
people with disabilities;
to provide priority for buses so
as to achieve their efficient movement;
to improve the local environment
and reduce the impact of congestion;
to contribute to London's targets
for reduced traffic accidents and road vehicle emissions;
to support reduced car commuting,
especially into or across inner London;
to assist measures to reduce traffic
on local roads by providing the first choice for non-local traffic,
consistent with achieving the other aims for Red Routes.
2.6 After consideration of the revised aims
for Red Routes contained in the new Traffic Management and
Parking Guidance for London, I consulted upon, then published,
Revisions to the Network Plan (Ref 7) in October 1998.
This document contains both the revised aims for Red Routes detailed
above and the following set of revised objectives:
(1) To implement the Priority (Red) Route
Network designated by the Secretary of State under section 50
of the Road Traffic Act 1991 so that:
by 22 December 2000 Priority (Red)
Route traffic management controls are operational across the entire
by 21 December 2001 all Priority
(Red) Route features on the main road are installed.
(2) To support the revised aims for Red Routes
by achieving on those sections of the Priority (Red) Route Network
installed after 1 April 1998:
for stage bus services at least a
10 per cent improvement in average journey times with at least
a 40 per cent improvement in the reliability of journey times,
so that the travel rate for 90 per cent of peak period services
is better than 5.0 minutes per route kilometre and for 90 per
cent of inter peak services is better than 4.5 minutes per route
for other vehicular traffic at least
at 10 per cent improvement in average journey times and at least
a 33 per cent improvement in the reliability of journey times
(in order to facilitate the movement of goods);
better conditions for people with
disabilities by introducing at least 480 parking boxes reserved
for Orange Badge holders and by introducing tactile paving and
tactile controls at all new traffic signal pedestrian controlled
improved road safety through at least
a 17 per cent reduction in injury accidents on Red Routes reported
to the Policethis objective to be assessed over the period
three years prior to the installation of Red Route controls and
three years after the completed installation of Red Route controls
to take account of injury accidents reported on the adjacent road
(3) To support the revised aims for Red Routes
by achieving across the whole of the Priority (Red) Route Network:
the improved effectiveness of traffic
and parking controls through regulatory measures at all bus stops
to prohibit stopping at all times; and, in accordance with the
Service Level Agreement with the Metropolitan Police Service,
at least 95 per cent compliance with stationary vehicle regulations;
better conditions for pedestrians
so that in "town centre" locations there is at least
a 30 per cent increase in pedestrians who perceive it to be "easy"
to cross the main carriageway; at least 500 new traffic signal
controlled pedestrian crossing points; and at least 1,200 locations
with measures to assist pedestrians to cross side roads;
better conditions for pedal cyclists
through the provision of at least 200 new traffic signal controlled
better understanding of the contribution
of Red Route measures to improved air quality and reduced CO2
emissions through regular measurements of traffic conditions
across the network.
(4) On the sections of the Priority (Red)
Route Network installed prior to 1 April 1998 to secure the objectives
for journey time, journey time reliability and road safety as
previously set by the Secretary of State.
(5) To progress implementation according
to available resources of a London-wide programme of bus lane
cameras and manage their operation.
(6) To operate within the financial limits
and regulations set by the Secretary of State.
3. ROAD SPACE
3.1 The importance of road space management
to an integrated transport strategy is outlined in the Government's
White Paper on the future of transport A New Deal for Transport:
Better for Everyone (Ref 8). Chapter 3 of that document deals
with the improvement of the environment in urban areas via the
management of road space, an approach I entirely endorse and the
importance of which I strongly support. A table on page 59 (reproduced
in annex A) outlines some of the most important mechanisms for
achieving road space management.
3.2 Most of these road space management techniques
have been deployed in London either on Red Routes or elsewhere,
and I set out below some examples of their use.
3.2.1 Buses have a key role to play in any integrated
transport policy which seeks to reduce car dependency in urban
areas. Historically buses not only had a greater share of the
journeys undertaken but also carried more passengers for longer
distances than they do at present. The decline of the bus as a
mode of transport can be linked with increased unreliability largely
due to increased congestion as a result of increased car use.
To enable the bus to fulfil its potential in an integrated transport
system we must reduce its unreliability and journey times compared
to other traffic.
3.2.2 There are a number of traffic management
techniques which can give buses priority and improve their reliability:
(i) Of paramount importance is to ensure
that the buses can always reach the kerb side at bus stops. This
requires the stops to be well laid out, clear of other vehicles
and to be in the "right" place for interchange with
other modes of transport and be convenient for pedestrians crossing
(ii) Bus lanes on the approach to traffic
signal junctions ensure that the bus gets to the front of the
queue and through the junction at the first available green signal.
The bus lane is however traditionally stopped sufficiently short
of the junction so that the general traffic remains unaffected
in terms of journey time through the junction.
(iii) The contra flow bus lane by-passes
a one-way system such as in Piccadilly. A recently introduced
Red Route example along Clapham Common North side is producing
journey time savings for buses in excess of four minutes in the
(iv) Current traffic signal technology provides
in many cases the opportunity via Selective Vehicle Detection
(SVD) to change signals to green as a bus approaches with consequential
improvements in journey times and their reliability.
(v) Bus pre-signals or bus advance areas
are more recent innovations which provide buses with priority
where traditional techniques would be difficult to implement.
3.2.3 A bus pre-signal scheme was introduced
on the A1 Red Route at Upper Street/Islington High Street in December
1997; where 1,350 people travel southbound in 45 buses per hour
while 1,000 people per hour pass through the junction in 840 other
vehicles, mainly cars. The buses at peak times previously suffered
severe delays caused by traffic congestion. The integrated transport
solution was to redesign the junction to include improvements
for pedestrians bringing their crossing point closer to the Angel
Underground Station and for the southbound approach to include
a double width bus lane and dedicated traffic signals which enables
buses and cyclists to pass other traffic held at the signals.
The diagram at annex B shows the scheme layout. "Before"
and "after" traffic surveys have been carried out which
reveal the following journey time savings:
70 seconds per bus in the morning peak period;
88 seconds per bus in the off peak periods;
97 seconds per bus in the evening peak period.
Using current cost benefit analysis values the
scheme will save £440,000 per annum and pay for itself in
3.2.4 In urban areas the suppressed demand for
travel by car means that without traffic calming on local roads
adjacent to strategic roads changes in main road conditions, including
those to improve integrated transport, can result in unacceptable
car use on local roads. Traffic calming measures have therefore
been implemented extensively along the Red Routes corridors.
3.2.5 At the junctions with side roads to date
over 450 "side road entry treatments" have been implemented.
A report Justification and Design of Entry TreatmentsAn
Assessment Study (Ref 9) describes the criteria and details
the principles of their design. These measures assist pedestrians
walking along footways of the Red Routes and slow traffic leaving
the Red Route and entering a minor road.
3.2.6 Other measures such as road humps have
been provided in side roads adjacent to Red Routes, in order to
encourage through traffic back on to the main road. In general
these have been concentrated on side roads close to Red Routes
where there was a desire to encourage traffic back on to the main
road. During the development of Red Route local plans it has become
apparent that the introduction of road humps ("sleeping policeman")
is no longer the panacea of traffic calming. These causes difficulties
for buses and emergency service vehicles which can be overcome
by the use of carefully designed speed cushions. This is now more
relevant since the wider introduction of mini/midi buses which
are able to access residential areas on minor roads.
3.2.7 Traffic calming measures deployed on Red
Routes have included coloured marginal road surface strips introduced
on the outside edge of lay-bys to encourage drivers to park well
inside the box. The strips can also be used to assist passengers
disembarking from foreign coaches on the offside (i.e., into the
carriageway) in potential conflict with passing traffic. An example
has been introduced on the Marylebone Road outside Madame Tussauds.
3.2.8 The Red Route network is perhaps the classic
example of the development of a priority route network, which
provides the framework for the application of road space management
policies. I believe the objectives for Red Routes and the approach
adopted in the Network Plan and Revisions to the Network
Plan represent the essential elements of transport integration
dealing as they do with buses, cyclists, pedestrians, access to
public transport (bus stops and railway stations) and the efficient
movement of goods.
3.2.9 Other priority networks under development
in London include the London Bus Priority Network and the London
Cycle Network. These two initiatives are being developed as package
schemes by the London local authorities. Clearly it is essential
that an integrated approach is adopted in the development of these
networks and that they are themselves integrated with each other
and the rest of the transport system including Red Routes. Doing
this will, in my view, be an important role for London's new Mayor.
3.2.10 The Revisions to the Network Plan
also encourages the development of walking routes. Not only is
walking the most environmentally friendly means of transport it
also forms at least part of every journey. On Red Routes I am
seeking to reduce the barriers to walking created by main roads
as well as improve conditions for walking along these roads.
Urban Traffic Control
3.2.11 In urban areas traffic signals are central
to the development and successful operation of an integrated system
for road-based transport. The co-ordination of signal settings
can be used to manage the movement of buses, cars, goods vehicles,
pedestrians and cyclists. In London a programme to improve the
technology controlling traffic signal installations on Red Routes
was completed earlier this year. The programme has accelerated
the introduction of two methods of computer signal control introduced
at 270 sites across London (see Map at annex C). The two methods
of computer control, Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique
(SCOOT) and Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation (MOVA),
allow improved co-ordination and operation of traffic signal installations,
including making them more responsible to local prevailing conditions.
3.2.12 This work has led to the formation of
an Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) steering group
which is considering more flexible methods of controlling road
networks in order to meet changing priorities. There are a number
of policy initiatives that UTMC systems can be deployed to support.
managing demand and congestion more
influencing model choice, route choice
and when journeys are made;
improving priority for buses and
other public services vehicles;
providing better and safer facilities
for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users;
reducing vehicle emissions;
The table at annex D indicates the functions,
and gives examples, for which a UTMC system can be used.
3.2.13 Substantial inefficiencies are introduced
and resources wasted in the transport system because drivers do
not use the best routes or misread/misunderstand directional or
regulatory signing. The Government's programme of resigning the
directional signs on the Primary Routes of London should reduce
this problem. The review of the traffic regulations and a new
more intelligible signing system for the Red Route controls is
also improving drivers comprehension and compliance.
3.2.14 The Revision to the Network Plan
include the possibility for the use of smaller sized Red Route
signs. This should reduce any environmental intrusion without,
it is believed, reducing legibility or compliance with the controls.
This change in the detailed specification of the signs is taking
place now that drivers have become more familiar with the Red
Route signs and their meaning.
3.2.15 The management of parking is central
to the success of any integrated transport policy which seeks
to reduce car dependency. Drivers need to be able to park their
vehicles at the end of their journey. If these spaces are removed,
relocated, charged for or limited in time, driver behaviour can
be expected to change. Thus parking management is a key lever
affecting transport integration.
3.2.16 The proper management of on-street parking
is particularly important to ensure the efficient operation of
the bus services (see above) and the safe and efficient use of
the road network. It can also enable income streams to be raised
to fund enforcement and improvement projects and programmes to
enhance transport integration.
3.2.17 The Red Route experience is clear that
a complete review of the existing "blanket" yellow line
waiting and loading restrictions with proper enforcement can produce
very substantial benefits including improving bus journey times
and reliability, reducing road accident casualties and assisting
with the more efficient delivery of goods.
No Car Lanes/High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes
3.2.18 The introduction of "No Car"
of "High Occupancy Vehicle" (HOV) lanes represent clear
examples of road space management. The first ever "No Car
Lane" on the London Strategic Road Network was introduced
earlier this year on the Nine Elms Lane Red Route in Battersea.
The north bound lane is on the approach to the Vauxhall Cross
intersection and can be used by buses, goods vehicles (over 3.5T),
taxis and cyclists. The lane was developed as the low number of
buses using the road did not justify a traditional bus lane.
3.2.19 Enforcing HOV lanes, except by Police
officers, remains a problem. This may not be the case for "No
Car Lanes" where cameras can also be used. "No car lanes"
also have the added advantage of providing priority for the delivery
of goods although care must be taken that the number of goods
vehicles do not create problems for the other priority vehicles
(buses, coaches, etc.).
4. CASE STUDY:
4.1 This Case Study extracted from my 1997-98
Annual Report shows how road space management can deliver improvements
to the integration of transport.
4.2 Streatham High Road and Streatham Hill form
part of the A23, the major north/south route in south London.
The Red Route is providing a £1.5 million revitalisation
package for the A23 through Streatham town centre which will help
improve the local environment. A comprehensive approach has been
adopted to ensure all visitors to the town centre gain and implementation
is almost complete. Congestion in Streatham town centre has long
been a problem, causing delays for up to 134 buses an hour using
the main road. Special attention has therefore been given to the
needs of buses along this route and to improving conditions for
bus passengers once they leave the bus and become pedestrians.
4.3 An existing northbound bus lane approaching
Streatham station previously operated only from 7 am to 10 am.
It is being converted to 24 hour operation and doubled in width
to overcome the problem of buses at stops delaying following bus
services. Bus stops have also been reorganised to bring them closer
to the station, ice rink and swimming baths. Two new bus lanes
at Greyhound Lane (110m) and Tierney Road (60m) are being introduced.
All bus stops throughout this section of road have been protected
by the standard Red Route ban on stoping to make sure buses can
always reach their stops.
4.4 Improvements for pedestrians include an
increase of more than 50 per cent in the number of signalled crossing
bringing the total to 11 in 2km. The signals are all computer
controlled to minimise disruption to traffic while providing significant
improvements for pedestrians crossing this busy road. New "green
man" crossings are being installed at Kingscourt Avenue,
Tierney Road, St Leonard's junction and Gleneagle Road. The carriageway
has been narrowed at a further two existing crossings to make
it easier and safer for pedestrians. All existing "green
man" crossings are being upgraded to include red surfacing
of the crossing area which increases driver and pedestrian awareness.
4.5 At 32 side road junctions work is being
carried out to make crossing easier for pedestrians. Raised carriageways
create continuous footways for pedestrians and slow down vehicles
turning off the main road. [i.e., side road entry treatments].
4.6 Improvements are being delivered for cyclists
on the London Cycle Network crossing the A23 at Becmead Avenue/Pendennis
Road. There are mandatory cycle lanes on both sides of the junction
and cycle advance areas. Key locations such as cinemas, stations
and Streatham Baths in the town centre are being fitted with purpose-built
4.7 For those shoppers arriving in the town
centre by car, 250 free short-term parking spaces have been provided
on the main road and in adjacent side roads. A further 200 spaces
have been reserved for loading and parking by Orange Badge Holders
for up to three hours. Much of this is provided on the main road
between kerb build-outs which will prevent dangerous parking at
junctions and effectively narrow the northbound dual carriageway
section of the A23 by one lane. As much of the southbound carriage
way already has bus lanes, this will prevent any significant increase
in traffic volumes through this inner London town centre.
4.8 The Red Route package is also helping to
improve the Streatham street scene. Landscaping works outside
Streatham Station include new paving, widening the footway and
new street trees. In all 40 new trees have been planted in Streatham.
4.9 Improvements have also been made at the
Greyhound Lane junction. A heavily used "rat run" (over
250 vehicles an hour) in Streatham Road/Natal Road which bypasses
the traffic signals at Greyhound Lane has been agreed for closure.
Further traffic calming measures are being introduced to tackle
similar problems in other residential areas.
4.10 Further case studies can be found in my
Annual Reports which also contain examples of good practice for
the priority topics of buses, pedestrians and cyclists.
5.1 Good enforcement is the key to ensuring
the success of the vast majority of road space management initiatives.
The Metropolitan Police are responsible for the enforcement of
Red Routes. A close partnership therefore has been wrought between
by organisation and the Metropolitan Police. This is now underpinned
by a Service Level Agreement (SLA) signed by both organisations
aimed at improving and giving consistency to enforcement of stopping,
parking and loading regulations by the Metropolitan Police Traffic
Warden Service (TWS). The SLA is understood to be the first such
agreement between the Metropolitan Police and an external organisation.
5.2 The SLA is intended to monitor the effectiveness
of the TWS in enforcing the Red Route regulations. This is achieved
by measuring "non compliance" with the Red Route regulations.
Performance indicators (PI) and targets have been agreed as part
of the SLA. The PI are total observed offences per mile. The following
targets have been agreed.
Red Line Compliance|
|High enforcement areas||1.2 observed offences per mile|
|Medium and low enforcement areas||0.8 observed offences per mile|
|Parking and loading box compliance||95 per cent compliance|
The table at annex E indicates the High, medium
and Low enforcement areas.
5.3 The use of cameras to assist in the enforcement
of traffic regulations has also been a feature of the Red Route
initiative. Speed and red light cameras have been deployed across
the network where problems of either speeding or red light jumping
have been identified. On the Red Route trunk roads over 100 cameras
have been introduced. Further cameras are being introduced on
Red Route local roads.
5.4 The most innovative use of camera technology
has been for bus lane enforcement. At the request of the Secretary
of State, and with the co-operation of the Metropolitan Police,
I have managed a project to develop and introduce video cameras
to detect vehicles which illegally use bus lanes. This illegal
use jeopardises the advantage that bus lanes give to buses and
consequently reduces the attractiveness of the bus as a means
of travel. Enforcement of bus lane offences is not, however, high
on the Metropolitan Police's list of priorities.
5.5 We tested the use of cameras for bus lane
enforcement on a pilot project in north London in 1995. The project
proved that it was feasible to use both mobile bus mounted and
static roadside cameras for bus lane enforcement for both moving
and stationary vehicles offences. Subsequently both types of camera
systems have been developed and "type approved" by the
Home Secretary to provide evidence which can be accepted by the
courts. The camera systems use unattended video cameras to record
offences. The tapes are subsequently assessed by my civilian staff
and viewed by a police officer who decides whether an offence
has been committed and agrees the issue of a Notice of Intended
Prosecution. Subsequent handling of the administrative process
is undertaken by the Metropolitan Police Central Ticket Office
and the Magistrates Courts Service Fixed Penalty Office.
5.6 Following the pilot project, bus lane camera
systems have been deployed in a larger area of north London. (Ref
11). This further confirmed the suitability of this technology
and I reported on the outcome of the project to the Secretary
of State for Transport and the Home Secretary in March 1998.
5.7 The Secretary of State for Transport has
subsequently given me a direction for London-wide implementation.
The first stage of the London-wide implementation programme was
launched in November 1998 with full London-wide coverage planned,
subject to resources, for completion in 2003. A plan outlining
the implementation programme is attached at annex F.
5.8 Research commissioned by me as part of the
bus lane enforcement camera project indicates that around 10 per
cent of drivers who currently use bus lanes illegally, would not
do so if the current fixed penalty fine of £20 were typically
doubled. I believe that the Home Office, as part of a wider consultative
exercise on traffic penalty, will be consulting on this issue
in the New Year.
5.9 The Bus Lane Camera Project has successfully
demonstrated the use of cameras to enforce bus lanes. The two
video camera systems could however be used to provide enforcement
to serve other policy goals:
(i) They could be used to enforce schemes
which remove capacity for general traffic. For example, if a bus
lane is extended right up to a traffic signal junction stopline,
thereby probably halving the capacity of the junction, infringements
of the bus lane are likely to increase. Road side video cameras
could be used for enforcement at these locations.
(ii) Bus or other vehicle mounted video cameras
could be used to enforce stationary vehicle offences on all roads
not just in bus lanes.
6.1 Road space management has a vital role to
play in delivering integrated transport especially in urban areas.
The Red Route initiative continues to demonstrate what can be
done. The establishment of a GLA should enable transport integration
in London to extend beyond that which we are currently achieving
in the main road corridors.
6.2 Road space management requires priority
to be given to the provision of adequate enforcement. This is
becoming increasingly the case as more sophisticated and radical
techniques of road space management are developed and introduced.
I can only foresee an increase in the use of camera technology
in this field.
1 Traffic in London:
A discussion document on initiatives to tackle the problems,
Department of Transport HMSO. 1998.
2 Assessment of the Pilot Priority (Red) Route in
London, Transport Research Laboratory, Transport Research
3 Road Traffic Act 1991, HMSO 1991.
4 Traffic Management and Parking Guidance, Department
of Transport. HMSO 1992.
5 Network Plan, Traffic Director for London.
Traffic Director for London 1993.
6 Traffic Management and Parking Guidance for London,
Government Office for London. Government Office for London 1998.
7 Revision to the Network Plan, Traffic Director
for London. Traffic Director for London 1998.
8 A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone,
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. The
Stationery Office 1998.
9 A Mayor and Assembly for London: The Government's
proposals for modernising the governance of London, Department
of the Government Transport and the Regions. The Stationery Office.
10 The Bus Lane Enforcement Camera ProjectThe
London Area Scheme, Traffic Director for London. Traffic Director
for London 1998.