Policy 6.12 Road network capacity



A  The Mayor supports the need for limited improvements to London’s road network, whether in improving or extending existing capacity, or providing new links, to address clearly identified significant strategic or local needs.

Planning decisions

B  In assessing proposals for increasing road capacity, including new roads, the following criteria should be taken into account:

a  the contribution to London’s sustainable development and regeneration including improved connectivity

b  the extent of any additional traffic and any effects it may have on the locality, and the extent to which congestion is reduced

c  how net benefit to London’s environment can be provided

d  how conditions for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users, freight and local residents can be improved

e  how safety for all is improved.

C  Proposals should show, overall, a net benefit across these criteria when taken as a whole. All proposals must show how any dis-benefits will be mitigated.

Supporting text

6.40  The Mayor agrees with the Department for Transport’s road policy document Action for Roads which says ‘Continued investment in all forms of transport, particularly the railways will help improve conditions on the roads, and new technology may help us to get more use out of existing capacity’. He also recognises that there are limits to the extent that demand can be met and managed effectively by simply providing additional road capacity. However, there will continue to be a place for road-based modes in London’s future development, and he considers that there may well be cases where new roads are needed to support regeneration, improve the environment, increase safety or provide essential local access. Local road improvements may sometimes be required, particularly in areas of substantial regeneration or development activity. Where roads forming part of the Transport for London Road Network have a significant ‘place function’ the principles embodied in Manual for Streets 2[1] will be applied (see also paragraphs 6.37 and 6.38).

6.41  The Mayor is investigating the possibility of additional road-based river crossings in East London. He is committed to improving cross-river pedestrian, cycle and public transport links, to promoting a shift from private cars to more sustainable modes, and to encouraging freight journeys to avoid peak hours through improved journey planning, supply chain measures and support for consolidation centres and modal shift to rail and water in order to reduce pressure on congested crossings. There will, however, continue to be a need for some journeys to be undertaken by vehicle, in particular commercial traffic, the movement of goods and the provision of services to support a growing economy in east London. Drivers are heavily dependent on the congested Blackwall and Rotherhithe tunnels, each of which have restrictions on the size of vehicle which can use them, and the Woolwich Ferry. Beyond London, the Dartford crossing, forming part of the M25 orbital motorway, also regularly operates at, or close to, capacity. There is little resilience in the event of an incident at one of these crossings, and local businesses, particularly in south east London, suffer from this unreliability. The projected increases in jobs and population in the Thames Gateway will increase the problem of highway congestion and road network resilience at river crossings further. The Mayor is therefore supportive of additional road-based river crossings in east London as part of a package of transport improvements.

[1]     Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, Manual for Streets 2, September 2010

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