Light Action Needed in the Borough

Council given green light for traffic review.




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Transport for London (TfL) officials have confirmed that dozens of lights will be reviewed to 'smooth traffic flow' in London's most congested borough.

The review - which is part of a programme covering more than 6,000 lights in the capital - may lead to problem lights being re-phased.

Hammersmith & Fulham officially has the most clogged-up streets in the capital - with a frustrating 7.6 million hours lost in traffic every year. The council has consistently lobbied TfL for action on the better phasing of traffic-lights and improved routes.

Local resident and leading campaigner against the western extension of the congestion charge David Tarsh says: "It has long been clear from TfL and government traffic data that congestion in London is caused much more by ill conceived traffic measures than by the volume of traffic."

"A review of light phasing is excellent news but that is not enough. Many unnecessary lights should go entirely. Bus lanes should operate only in rush hour and lots of minor obstructions, like overly protruding pavements and ill-thought-through road markings, need to be dealt with too as they cause unnecessary bottlenecks."

Key junctions, like the Hammersmith Broadway and Fulham Palace Road interchange, are part of the review but the council wants more added. The council has written to TfL to demand that the Talgarth Road junction with North End Road also be included in the programme.

Cllr Botterill said: "We have been calling for the review of traffic lights to create a smoother flow of traffic - without negatively affecting pedestrians - for a long time. I am delighted that TfL have now confirmed that a whole series of lights are being looked at."

Repeated studies have proved that traffic congestion is a significant contributor to pollution - as stop-start vehicles have lower fuel efficiency and generate far more emissions than free-flowing traffic. The TfL review is expected to be complete by April 2010.

Cllr Botterill added: "The senseless policy of slowing down traffic with badly phased traffic lights has created large numbers of stationary vehicles that pump out exhaust fumes at red lights. Clogged streets are a barrier to trade and our plans to regenerate parts of the borough. I am pleased that TfL are reversing their historic policy to the benefit of all road users."

July 7, 2009