London, the most congested city in Europe

MQT on 2015-09-16
Session date: 
September 16, 2015
Question By: 
Murad Qureshi
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


According to INRIX Transport analysis, London has become Europe's most congested city in 2014, with the five most grind locked roads in the whole of the UK in London. What measures, if any, are you going to take to reduce the congestion along the A217; A215 and the A4?


Answer for London, the most congested city in Europe

Answer for London, the most congested city in Europe

Answered By: 
The Mayor

London, unlike many European cities, is experiencing unprecedented population growth, in conjunction with strong economic performance. The consequence of this activity is increased construction, commercial and private vehicle traffic, and therefore congestion on our roads.

We continue to invest in our public transport networks and this includes our £4bn Roads Modernisation programme which looks to prepare us for the changing travelling habits of the future. We have and will continue to use all available resources to help combat congestion including the INRIX report. 

The INRIX report itself uses a distinctly larger boundary than the Greater London Authority (GLA) boundary, for example the INRIX functional Urban Area for London extends nearly as far as Cambridgeshire to the north, Crawley to the south. The consequence is that a considerable amount of the area covered by the analysis and impacting on the congestion rating is beyond TfL's geographical influence. In a recent interview Rob Clayton (INRIX Quality Manager) stated that in general a lot of the congestion occurs on roads leading into the Capital.

The report itself highlighted five congested routes within the GLA boundary:     

1) A217 - Rose Hill Roundabout to New Kings Road (AM Peak). The majority of the A217 route is not Transport for London Road Network (TLRN), however TfL will work with the local borough to assess any possible solutions to the issues highlighted by the report.

2) A215 - Camberwell to Croydon (PM Peak). The majority of the A215 route is not TLRN, however TfL will work with the local borough to assess any possible solutions.

3) A4 - Henlys Roundabout to Holborn (AM Peak). The majority of the route is TLRN and by the end of this financial year the complete route will operate Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Tool (SCOOT) which is a system that dynamically coordinates signal junctions and reduces delay on the road network and so reduces congestion.  

4) A4 - Aldwych to Henlys Roundabout (PM Peak) - as above.

5) A23 - Thornton Heath to Westminster Bridge (AM Peak). The majority of the route is TLRN and now fully runs SCOOT dynamic signal control. This corridor is also currently undergoing a strategic review. 

Across London TfL continues to monitor congestion and deploy a package of measures including SCOOT; traffic signal timing reviews and the retiming of freight to help alleviate congestion.